An office full of busy bees working hard and producing great results is every manager’s dream. But most employees aren’t just born this way, are they? You have to create an atmosphere in which it’ll be natural for employees to be productive.

Reading just a little bit on the topic will reveal to you a huge number of different ways that you can improve productivity in your workplace, especially if you’re using tools like tracking hours for teams app. This might lead you to believe that not doing anything will just bring out the employees’ natural productivity out.

In reality, however, there are things you may be doing that are not only unhelpful for employees’ productivity, but are actually helping to destroy it. Luckily, if you know how to handle and avoid these mistakes, you can be free of this danger. Which is even easier if you’re using time clock and software to track productivity.

But the first step is to realize what the mistakes are and whether you’re guilty of making them. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to make your workforce totally unproductive and how not to fall into these traps.

1. Don’t Give Employees Clear Assignments

Variations on this tactic include: make the tasks long and confusing, keep rephrasing what you expect them to do at least three times a day, make their targets extremely vague and hard to measure (for best results, try to make them unattainable too), don’t give them any direction at all, etc. The point is - if employees don’t know what they’re supposed to do, they won’t be very motivated to do it.

In order to avoid this sort of pitfall, always have a clear roadmap of employees’ assignments and, even more importantly, a specific, realistic and measurable end goal. This will not only make employees more motivated to actually do their tasks but you’ll be able to track their progress more easily with the best time clock software, project management tool or any other digital or non-digital method.

2. Give Them All the Time in the World

Deadlines that are too lenient are as effective as unclear guidelines when it comes to making employees unproductive. In fact, these two are best used in combination. Allowing your employees double the time that they need for a task is an excellent way to encourage procrastination.

Now, your deadlines and expectations shouldn’t be impossible to reach either, but making sure they’re reasonable and stimulating is the key to productivity. Use best web based time tracking to figure out how long you can expect each employee to be doing a task and organize their time based on this data. This is the most accurate way to help them reach their full potential in terms of efficiency.

3. Make Them Multitask

What sounds like a recipe for maximum efficiency is actually anything but. What we usually call ‘multitasking’ is in fact switching from one task to another, which wastes time and kills productivity. So, if that’s your goal, give your employees as many different tasks as possible in short amounts of time.

If, on the other hand, it’s high productivity that you’re after, try letting your employees focus on one task until they’re done. Or at least group similar tasks together so that the transition is easier. You can keep tabs on what they’re doing with remote employee time tracking software and manage their time so that they are focused on one thing for as long as possible before moving on to the next.

4. Micromanage Their Every Move

There’s absolutely nothing better for evaporating every last shred of productivity than a manager breathing down your neck and controlling your every single move. And yes, demanding that they report on every number and word they type and asking them a million questions per hour counts as micromanaging too.

In order to avoid this, the best way to track time spent on projects isn’t by distracting employees every five minutes to ask how they’re moving along, but to compare time tracking software data to their workload and analyze their performance without bothering them. This way, you can only act when there’s a need for it and let employees focus on their work the rest of the time.


Accidentally making employees unproductive is easier than you might think. That’s why it’s crucial to get familiar with the sorts of mistakes you can make that could create this problem. Just knowing what could be harmful to productivity and trying to avoid it (with or without the help of computer time monitor) should be enough to keep you out of the way of employees’ natural productivity flow and one step closer to that office full of busy bees that you want so badly.

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