1 in 4 Workers Does Not Get Enough Sleep Each Night

March 13th, 2017 Comments off
Sleeping and productivity

Employers, beware: The switch to Daylight Saving Time may result in more yawning in the office and a potential dip in productivity. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 1 in 4 workers (26 percent) feel he or she does not get enough sleep each night. Ironically, nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

Further, only 17 percent of all workers get at least eight hours of sleep a night — which can have a negative impact on productivity, among other factors.

Sleep-deprivation doesn’t just hurt workers – it hurts the bottom line, too. For instance, 3 in 5 workers (60 percent) say lack of sleep has had an impact on their work in some way.

What Does This Mean For You?

Over the past few years, successful organizations have finally started to view sleep deprivation for what it is: a productivity killer and employee health issue. As a result, they’re actively pursuing ways to gently encourage their workers in the right direction.

Here are ways you can improve employees’ sleep quality:

  • Create a company program: Invite sleep experts to visit the office to counsel employees about their habits. Offer stipends for sleep treatments, as part of your wellness program. Stress-reducing treatments, such as fitness memberships and massages, can also help employees become more relaxed at work.
  • Control use of mobile devices at home: Using mobile devices can have detrimental effects on sleep quality. Instead of letting employees bring their company-owned mobile devices home, consider limiting its use to the office only.
  • Create brighter workspaces: Natural lighting helps employees sleep better at night, therefore making them more productive during the day.


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Up to 3 Hours Each Workday Lost to Smartphones, Other Distractions

June 27th, 2016 Comments off
Candidates Use 16 Different Resources During Job Search

They may be at work, but that doesn’t mean employees are actually working. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, more than 1 in 5 employers estimate their employees are only productive for five hours of the day, thanks in large part to distractions such as smart phones, the Internet, and other co-workers. Of these distractions, mobile phones and texting habits present the biggest obstacle to productivity. When asked to name the biggest productivity killers in the office, employers cited the following:

  • Cell phones/texting: 55 percent
  • The internet: 41 percent
  • Gossip: 39 percent
  • Social media: 37 percent
  • Co-workers dropping by: 27 percent
  • Smoke or snack breaks: 27 percent
  • Email: 26 percent
  • Meetings 24 percent
  • Noisy co-workers: 20 percent

What Does This Mean For You?

While you can’t control what workers do — and attempting to ban cell phone usage, the internet and social media may force employees to look elsewhere for less rigid employers — you can manage it. Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, suggests addressing the issue head on. “Have an open dialogue with employees about tech distractions,” she says. “Acknowledge their existence and discuss challenges/solutions to keeping productivity up.”

Want more insights from the study? Check out “What Are Workers Wasting Time On? Top 10 Employee Productivity Killers”

What Are Workers Wasting Time On? Top 10 Productivity Killers

June 9th, 2016 Comments off
What Are Workers Wasting Time On? Top 10 Productivity Killers

From texting to noisy co-workers, there are a seemingly unlimited number of distractions in the workplace today. In fact, 3 in 4 employers in the U.S. say two or more hours a day are lost in productivity because employees are distracted.

According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder:

While we need to be connected to devices for work, we’re also a click away from alluring distractions from our personal lives like social media and various other apps. The connectivity conundrum isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be managed. Have an open dialogue with employees about tech distractions. Acknowledge their existence and discuss challenges/solutions to keeping productivity up.

Take a look at some of the biggest culprits in this handy infographic.

Productivity Killers

More than 3 in 4 employers (76 percent) have taken active measures to reduce productivity killers in the office — from blocking some internet sites (32 percent) to banning the use of cell phones (26 percent) to putting a limit on the number of meetings (17 percent).

Tweet at @CBforEmployers: What do YOU think are the biggest productivity killers in the office? Do you take any steps to mitigate such distractions?

Employees’ Most Unusual Time-Wasters at Work

June 12th, 2015 Comments off
the most unusual productivity killers at work

Most all of us, at some point or another, avoid doing the things we actually need to do by doing things we prefer to do in the present moment: It’s a classic case of procrastination. And while some people gravitate toward virtual activities of tending a farm or crushing on candy to feed procrastinating urges, others waste time on Facebook or other social networks, take a million bathroom breaks, incessantly check their phone for updates, daydream, or find something else REALLY IMPORTANT to do.

And still others, uh, blaze their own path, you might say, when it comes to passing the time with non-work activities. Enter mail order brides, sleeping on the CEO’s couch, and sponge baths.

new CareerBuilder survey of 2,175 hiring and human resource managers makes it clear that sometimes, employees aren’t just engaging in your run-of-the-mill email, Internet surfing or water cooler gossip — but in much more bizarre activites. Below, employers dish on their employees’ biggest productivity killers, as well as the craziest things they caught employees doing while on the clock.

 The biggest productivity killers, according to employers

While there are all sorts of tips and tricks to combat lack of productivity, it seems some workers will do just about anything to avoid doing actual work while on the clock. (Though, I think most all of us could agree sitting in a cubicle can sometimes makes one’s soul die a little.)

  1. Cell phones/texting: 52 percent
  2. The Internet: 44 percent
  3. Gossip: 37 percent
  4. Social media: 36 percent
  5. Email: 31 percent
  6. Co-workers dropping by: 27 percent
  7. Meetings: 26 percent
  8. Smoke breaks/snack breaks: 27 percent
  9. Noisy co-workers: 17 percent
  10. Sitting in a cubicle: 10 percent


Workers’ Strangest Non-Work Activities While On the Job

When employers were asked to reveal the most unusual or most memorable things they have found an employee doing when they should have been working, they didn’t hold back. And can you blame them? Who would be able to keep these situations to themselves?

  • Employee was taking a sponge bath in the bathroom sink.
  • Employee was trying to hypnotize other employees to stop their smoking habits.
  • Employee was visiting a tanning bed in lieu of making deliveries.
  • Employee was looking for a mail order bride.
  • Employee was playing a video game on their cell phone while sitting in a bathroom stall.
  • Employee was drinking vodka while watching Netflix.
  • Employee was sabotaging another employee’s car tires.
  • Employee was sleeping on the CEO’s couch.
  • Employee was writing negative posts about the company on social media.
  • Employee was sending inappropriate pictures to other employees.
  • Employee was searching Google images for “cute kittens.”
  • Employee was making a model plane.
  • Employee was flying drones around the office.
  • Employee was printing pictures of animals, naming them after employees and hanging them in the work area.

The Cost of Being Driven to Distraction

It’s no surprise that productivity killers can lead to negative consequences for the organization, including compromised quality of work (45 percent), lower morale (30 percent), missed deadlines (24 percent), loss in revenue (21 percent) and more.

So what’s the solution?

Some say that to get things done and put off procrastinating (see what I did there?) it helps to remind yourself why what you’re doing is important, and others recommend just simply starting a task to get over the anxiety of actually starting it.

Nearly 3 in 4 employers (74 percent) have taken at least one step to combat productivity killers, such as blocking certain Internet sites (33 percent) and banning personal calls/cell phone use (23 percent). I personally hate these, because one bad apple shouldn’t spoil things for the other employees who do use them responsibly. Plus, your employees aren’t robots (yet). People aren’t designed to work 8-plus hours straight with no breathing room, whether that involves a walk outside, an email to a friend, or spacing out for a few minutes on Instagram. In fact, research shows taking breaks actually makes people more productive.

CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer, Rosemary Haefner, backs this up:

Between the Internet, cell phones and co-workers, there are so many stimulants in today’s workplace, it’s easy to see how employees get sidetracked,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “The good news is, taking breaks from work throughout the day can actually be good for productivity, enabling the mind to take a break from the job at hand and re-energize you. The trick is finding the right (work-appropriate) activities that promote – rather than deplete – energy.”

You know, like not-drinking-vodka-and-watching-Netflix-type activities.

Haefner offers the following four tips for productive procrastination — which may be helpful to pass onto your employees (or bookmark for yourself):

  1. Schedule “play” breaks. Give yourself permission to take a break, and set a definite ending time. Not only will you have something to look forward to after you’ve worked hard, you will also know when it’s time to get back to work.
  2. Surround yourself with productive people. Much like laughter, productivity can be infectious. Watching how others make themselves productive can inspire us to act similarly.
  3. Make yourself accountable to your (social) network. Can’t seem to motivate yourself to finish (or start) a big project? Post on your Facebook wall that you will do it. Making yourself publicly accountable will make you more likely to actually do something.
  4. Just (literally) walk away. Can’t seem to concentrate? Go for a 10- or 20-minute walk. Research shows that a few minutes of light exercise can rejuvenate the brain and lead to sharper cognitive function.

When it comes to workplace productivity, what works well for you and your team?


Want more? Get more highlights from the survey here.