Boosting Productivity Levels (And Killing Distractions) At The Workplace

Most professionals who look to move ahead with their career goals will inevitably face external distractions, such as poor weather, desolate lifestyles, and overall life challenges.

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By Jamilla D. Ali

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"Jamilla, you know how the rain effects me- I'm calling out of work and staying in bed all day," said a close friend of mine to me, during one of the lightest summer rainstorms we encountered in New York City, summer 2010. Although I was fully aware of her outlook on rain and the effects it seemingly had on her body, it was hardly a mystery that she avoided going to the organization she was working for, at all costs. Why? Because, well, she simply disliked her job, colleagues, and her overall position at the company. This particular dilemma contributed to her overall discouraging attitude regarding work, when an arguably valid distraction presented itself to her.

Most professionals who look to move ahead with their career goals will inevitably face external distractions, such as poor weather, desolate lifestyles, and overall life challenges. The question is, are these alleged drawbacks genuinely accountable for your lack of productivity at work? Or have we become content searching the Internet for explanations regarding our lack of enthusiasm in the workplace? People typically rationalize their reasoning for not being mentally present at work, and frequently discover excuses on the Web that happily blab the effects weather, depression, or any external distracting conditions on one's productivity.

As a self-made person who's consistently exploring opportunities to shine and improve my skillset, I can fully attest that rain, snow, or personal trials will never come close to bartering what I've worked, and continue to work, painstakingly for- unless I'm confronted with a particular task that surpasses personal ethical standards, or I find myself working for an organization that's simply… stale. These will be what contribute to a dip in my productivity levels during depressive conditions outside, such as rain or snow.

For example, throughout my brief yet unpleasant stint with a previous organization, I observed various team members losing their steam during inclement weather. It was hardly a surprise to me when the somewhat cheerful and ambitious demeanor of colleagues shifted and declined during unpleasant weather surroundings. Why? Because of their overall lack of enthusiasm for the organization, and given that their roles were so unfulfilling and poor, each individual personally welcomed the perceived idea of lethargic behavior at work whenever difficult times provided an out.

I believe savvy and driven professionals should embody resilience, and understand the power of taking a break, gathering thoughts, and rolling with the punches, despite external disturbances at work. However, workplace productivity levels or "statistics" should be measured against workplace happiness and task interest, rather then external factors, such as weather conditions or depressive states.

Whilst gloomy days can be mood altering for some, I believe everyone is, very much, fully responsible for their own career success. On average, a person dedicates 90% of their time to work, and attending work-related events. Because work-life balance has become a dime a dozen for thriving professionals due to budget cuts, rigorous schedules, and cutthroat competitors, the importance of doing what you love, and loving what you do, is becoming increasingly evident to entrepreneurs and those in the business world. If not, you'll always welcome distractions that will divert your attention to work you aren't passionate about or enjoy.

Employers have the tremendous ability and influence to foster and cultivate a workplace that motivates and encourage employee happiness, regardless of rain or shine. Although it's inevitable that disgruntled staff will be present within any organization, most are often open and capable of being persuaded by a positive and balanced work culture. If leaders are noticing a decrease in productivity during unpleasant external conditions, it's unlikely that the weather is to blame.

Organizations large and small should be compelled to continuously investigate employee enthusiasm by keeping track of absences and productivity levels during depressive external conditions. This can potentially raise awareness involving workplace ethics, culture and happiness amongst employees, while implementing an innovative system to track internal workplace dynamic. I believe, this will be an eye-opener for organizations looking to retain invaluable talent, while nurturing the momentous foundation and corporate governance it has built from the ground up.

Related: Harnessing Corporate Culture To Make Employees Loyal To Your Brand, Not Your Money

Jamilla D. Ali

Jamilla D. Ali is a native New Yorker and graduate of Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. Jamilla previously worked at a boutique branding agency in Dubai, United Arab Emirates where she  was responsible for all new client business development efforts. Prior to Jamilla’s experience in Dubai, she was a writer for various startup blogs catered to the underground hip hop music scene and cultural activities in and around the New York City area. Jamilla continues to pursue multiple disciplines and aspires to write a book documenting her life changing experiences at home and abroad. 

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