The secret to increasing productivity in the workplace has been revealed in new research from CABA, the charity that supports the wellbeing of chartered accountants. The study showed that over half (59%) of British employees find their work colleagues impact their productivity, with 19% stating that the biggest distractions in the office is often not work related.
The data highlights that although work colleagues are ranked highly amongst attributes we look for when searching for employment (41%), they actually prove to be the biggest distraction too. Over a quarter (28%) of employees revealed that they get annoyed by their colleagues pretending to work harder than they are. Other gripes included, talking or gossiping about non-work related things too much (22%) and being quick to complain about workloads (20%). Colleagues taking credit for their co-workers work was another major annoyance, which 1 in 10 employees flagged.
Whilst on the whole, colleagues believed they had a strong relationship with their manager, over a quarter (28%) feel they could actually do a better job than them. Alarmingly, 28% also said that they have a dispute with a colleague or manager at least once a fortnight.
Kelly Feehan, Services Director for CABA commented:
‘If you work with someone who constantly complains or takes advantage, you may dread coming to work even if you like your job. Colleagues have a profound impact on their co-workers’ performance and job satisfaction, and a poor work ethic and attitude can drive employees to low productivity, absenteeism or even quitting a post. Behaviour can be contagious, so employees may, consciously or unconsciously, mirror the actions and attitudes of their workplace peers.’
The research revealed that it wasn’t all negative, as nearly a third (31%) of employees like spending time with their colleagues and use them as a pillar of support. In fact, 30% admitted to relying on their peers to help manage stressful situations at work, highlighting the importance of strong work relationships.
Kelly Feehan concluded:
‘Establishing and maintaining good work relationships is the key to a positive workplace. It’s fair to say that we don’t get on with our colleagues every minute of the day, so the solution to a successful working environment is striking the balance between having fun and working productively.’