Feeling Unproductive? Blame Your Co-Workers.

A new study illustrates the contagious nature of unproductivity.

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By Laura Entis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your outlook) work doesn't exist in a vacuum. Apart from the novelist holed away with his manuscript, most jobs require that we interact with other people on a daily basis.

This can be great; collaboration often boosts both creativity and performance. But on the flip side, coworkers can slow us down, at least according to a recent productivity study by task management platform Taskworld.

Related: Distracted and Overwhelmed Employees Are Costing You Big. Try These 3 Fixes.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults age 18 or over, found that 50 percent of the workforce believes their coworkers' productivity directly impacts their own. And slacking employees can have a domino effect -- nearly half of respondents (48 percent) blame deadline missing coworkers for corresponding decreases in their own productivity.

Why? Chronic deadline-missers aren't just frittering away their own time: Nineteen percent of respondents reported that they spend one to three additional hours per week nagging coworkers to get their work done (or, in survey speak, "following up on the status of projects and tasks"), while a whopping 75 percent report frequently waiting on coworkers to complete a task.

Like office germs, it appears that unproductivity is contagious.

Related: How Music Affects Your Productivity

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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