Things don’t always go over smoothly in an office. While this may be funny in sitcoms like The Office, providing hours of entertainment, it’s not quite as funny in real life so much as it is a headache. If you are trying to get any work done at the end of the day, these hiccups can be annoying at best and a real hassle if any worse. Whether you are managing the office, heading a team, or want to maximize your own shift hours, look into some of these contenders for the most annoying and productivity-hampering office issues:
Faulty shared devices
No matter how far ahead we’ve progressed in technology, some things haven’t changed. Offices still have the printer, projector, fax machine, and photocopier taking on the brunt of files and materials that everyone needs to shuffle around. Given their price and bulkiness, these pieces of equipment often see a lot of shared usage from everyone in the workplace. This, in itself, can already lead to a lot of people waiting around to get their turn, but it’s even worse when they start breaking down.
Surely, you’ve encountered the hassles of that jammed printer that won’t use its ink right or that fax machine that literally won’t do its one main function, among other things. Make sure you have resources like a Zebra printer repair at the ready so that this doesn’t have to be a slog that people have to work around (or even use as an excuse). At the very least, it can prevent that awkward intern from panicking because they can’t seem to copy the file they have on-hand and five senior staff members are waiting on them.
A malfunctioning PC
Computers have become a major necessity in the modern office, standing as one of the essential cogs in the machine that pump like the lifeblood of the whole thing. Millions of workers use a computer on the job. The majority use it for various functions like the various office processing applications (yes, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), office messaging services, e-mail, and internet research. Just in the wake of the turn of the century, there were already over 77 million with significant computer usage as part of their work, so it’s no wonder it seems like it’s so intrinsic in office spaces today.
If a computer kept crashing, hanging, shutting down, or rebooting, the IT department would never hear the end of it. Even the simplest of malfunctions, like a slowed-down computer because of overly high CPU and Disk usage, can cause so much ire and hamper much productivity in tasks and deliverables. It’s best to ensure that everyone has good computer habits and practices and that machines are regularly updated.
Poor internet connectivity
Just as with computers, the internet is one of the most important parts of today’s offices. Besides connecting to clients, it maintains the network between everyone in the staff and often powers many functions that are crucial to the operations of the business. It’s bad enough if it’s too slow for your needs, but internet downtime has even more of a negative impact. Millions of productive hours are lost because of downtime, with data showing that internet outages account for an average revenue loss of $6,500 per minute. With a sudden break in cloud access and syncing, portals going down both on client and consumer ends, loss of communications, and inventory issues, it can be an utter catastrophe.
This is a gripe that many workers have, and rightly so. It may be a meeting that runs too long, a meeting that did not need to be set in the first place over an e-mail, or a meeting that clashes with another meeting because schedules and rooms were not properly assigned and aligned beforehand, and more. With bad meeting management, not only are employees likely to get their schedules and motivations affected, but it also wastes precious resources and time.
Experts have actually noted that not more than 20% of an employee’s work time should be dedicated to meetings. Adopting this method can produce more efficient meetings and actually boost the morale of the staff. It maximizes their time and saves their energy and shows more value for their own schedules.
Knowing about these issues can make you more aware of them and, in turn, either be wary or proactively find solutions to get past them or avoid them altogether. Who knows? You may crack the code to get these off the list for good in your workplace.