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Have you set up your workplace to support employee productivity? Are you sure?

In my latest article for Harvard Business Review, 4 Organizational Mistakes That Plague Modern Knowledge Workers, I talk about some often-overlooked factors that could be holding your employees back from getting their best results.

  1. Bad email habits. Your team needs uninterrupted stretches of time to do deep-focus work. That’s hard to get if they feel like they must constantly monitor email. In the HBR article, I recommend setting a policy in your office to call or text when something is urgent instead of emailing. The result? Less multitasking, more employee productivity.

    An open office can help or enter employee productivity, according to productivity trainer Maura Nevel Thomas.

    Open offices can hurt employee productivity if they’re not properly planned and designed.

  2. Poorly planned open offices. Open workspaces are both touted and loathed. If you have an open office, make sure employees have quiet, private spaces in addition to areas that encourage collaboration.
  3. Unhealthy food. If meetings at your office mean bagels and doughnuts and the kitchen is stocked with processed snacks, employee productivity will suffer. Providing healthier fare will keep your team off the “sugar roller coaster” and more focused on their work.
  4. A lack of support for telecommuters. More and more of us work from home, but management practices haven’t kept up with this shift. Give managers training to help them supervise workers they can’t “keep their eye on.” And help set employees up for success by making sure they have the skills they need to manage the distractions that come with telecommuting.

Be sure to read the full article at Harvard Business Review for many more tips you can use immediately to enhance employee productivity. I also invite you to search for my name at for more tips about dealing with work email, why new personal productivity efforts don’t stick, what might be wrong with your vacation policy, and why time management training doesn’t work.