The quest to improve productivity of employees at work is probably about as old as the idea of a company. Over the years, managers of businesses of all shapes and sizes have joined in this pursuit and, as a result, we have nearly innumerable different tactics and tips on how to get your employees to be more efficient and use their office time in the most productive way possible.


Ideas range from organizing their tasks in a particular way, to changing the way your office space is laid out or equipped, all the way to buying a software to keep track of time spent on projects. All this in order to boost productivity.


Unfortunately, however, over this course of trying to find the answer, some misconceptions about workplace productivity have emerged and, worst of all, stuck around.


This article is here to bust six very common productivity myths that are harmful to progress and improvement, and can very often actually end up being totally counterproductive.


1. Working Every Minute of Office Time Is Possible


There’s hardly anything more damaging to employee satisfaction and long-term results than trying to obtain this idealistic picture of a perfect employee - being productive every single minute of their working hours.


The first point to make, and the reason why this claim is on our list, is that working for this long at a time is simply not possible. Our attention and focus last up to two hours at best. It’s all downhill from there.


Actually, you can see this trend pretty clearly if you’re using a time tracker. Just a couple of days after the time tracking software download, the trajectory should reveal itself - a bit of warm-up at the beginning, productivity peak, lunch break, another productivity peak and then just a long trailing downward slope until the end of the working day. And trackwork data doesn’t lie.


Now, don’t get this the wrong way, you should absolutely try to get employees to be as productive as possible, but just keep in mind that this is never going to be eight hours a day. At least not for long.


2. Multitasking Is Your Best Friend…


Surely, getting employees to do ten things at once is the best shortcut to improved efficiency. Wrong! In fact, only about 2% of people are capable of what we like to term multitasking, the other overwhelming majority just end up switching from one task to another and wasting time and energy in between.


As it turns out, maybe slightly counterintuitively so, multitasking is actually making your employees less productive. Instead, it’s way better to let them focus on a single task for as long as they naturally can. Work time tracker is a great tool for avoiding multitasking. It can show you what your employees are doing at any moment so that you can refrain from disturbing them during their flow. Any additional task can wait its turn.


Using work time control software in this way to eliminate the chances for task overlapping will make work distribution much more conducive to productivity.


3. ...And Breaks Are Your Enemy


As we’ve said earlier, you can’t expect employees to work non-stop, that’s not how productivity works. And seeing that downward trend in your job time tracking app should be enough to make you realize that breaks are indeed necessary for normal daily functioning.


Make sure your employees get regular breaks throughout the day. This will ensure that they come back to work refreshed and with a regained focus. Think about it this way: nobody can work effectively when they’re tired, right? And it won’t take long for employees to go back to being productive. It’s time well invested.


So use project management time tracking data to figure out when your employees need a break and let them relax for a couple of minutes.


4. Tracking Tasks Is a Waste of Time


We’ve mentioned the usefulness of a company tracking employees’ time in all of the previous points so far. So, by now, it should be obvious that this business practice isn’t a useless waste of time and money. It can measure your employees’ productivity and map out their natural rhythm. It can do the same for entire teams. Based on this data, you can detect and address distractions, pinpoint weaknesses, find out what areas or employees’ performance can be improved and much more.


You don’t have to look for the best time tracking software for nonprofits or the perfect CPA time tracking software. Having the basic functionalities can be enough to get you started on improving productivity. And don’t forget to test it out - explore the different features and reports, adjust your way of work and see if you can track it with the platform, reevaluate the results of using it and, if you don’t want to commit right away, make good use of productivity monitoring software free trial period.


5. Only Lazy People Procrastinate


Procrastination has long been viewed as a very undesirable quality in an employee. If they come to work and don’t start being productive straight away, they’re considered lazy and disinterested. The truth is, in fact, that most people are prone to procrastination.


It turns out that getting started with the work is a bit harder than it seems. Our brains need to adjust to the fact that there’s this long task ahead. And there’s not much employees can do about this and it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re generally lazy. Tendency to procrastinate doesn’t choose its victims. However, the length of this period can be a good indication of which employees are more productive than others.


One way to combat procrastination is to assign short simple tasks for the beginning of each day. That way, employees are going to be more willing to dig in and get it over with.


6. Productivity Can’t Be Trained


Finally, one of the most damaging misconceptions is that productivity is something that can’t be learned - employees are either naturally productive or they’re not, and you should use the maximum of the ones that are, while there’s really nothing you can do about the ones that are not. This attitude breeds unfairness in work distribution and is generally wrong.


There’s actually a lot you can do to improve your employees’ productivity. We’ve mentioned a couple of things throughout this article, but there are many more resources that could give you some ideas.


One of the tricks you can use is tracking productivity with a time tracker app. This data will give you ideas on what you can improve. Which distractions can you limit? When is the best time of day for demanding tasks? When should you assign breaks? Who should do what? How can you divide projects into tasks? Which deadlines should you set? These time management windows of opportunity can be a great basis for productivity improvements. Just don’t forget to track your results and adjust your strategy as needed.


Conclusion


Improving productivity is an important business goal, which is why you should steer clear of quick judgements. Hopefully, we’ve managed to bust a couple of the most widespread myths about workplace productivity and bring you closer to improving your team’s efficiency.


Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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