You go to work every single workday, do your job, take coffee or lunch breaks, catch up with colleagues, go home, spend time with the family if they are still awake, eat, sleep and the next day, like clockwork, do the same routine.

Sometimes, there are factors that detract from your work time and you find yourself wondering where all the time had gone at the end of the day and what you were doing. What are the hidden truths about workplace productivity? What are those things that actually affect your productivity, yet you hardly notice?

1. The office temperature

One thing which affects our productivity at work is the office temperature. You wonder how right? Have you noticed that when the office is very cold, be it in terms of the temperature or the general aura of the workplace, you tend to be sluggish, no matter how hard you push yourself to work faster and smarter? Low office temperature reduces the morale to work and it increases the feelings of loneliness and sadness.

Too high temperature also does the same. Whenever you feel sluggish at work, check the room temperature, it just might be that the place is too cold or too hot. Keep the room temperature balanced. Moderation is always key.

2. Social media

Most people see social media as a huge distraction, especially when accessed during work hours. It’s seen as eating into time that should be used to achieve something tangible. But, it’s the opposite actually. Do you know that social media can help boost productivity? There are times you feel blue and unmotivated, going through your Facebook or Instagram account could help relieve this tension or moodiness. You didn’t know that, did you?

Think back to a time last week when you couldn’t do anything at work, your mind just wasn’t there. Did you go through your social media account(s)? If you did, you would realize, now that you think about it, that your mood was lifted afterwards and you found the strength to face work. This in itself boosted your mood which, in turn, boosted your productivity for that day. Browsing through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can work as a mood booster. These social media breaks can act as a mental palate cleanser, helping you with a quick mood enhancer, allowing you to return back to the task at hand refreshed. But, mind you, you still need to exercise caution. Too much of everything is bad. You need to find a balance. Try to limit how frequently you check out social media pages.

3. Busywork

E mi o le wa p’ara mi” (I cannot kill myself) is a common Nigerian expression. Most times, they say this at work, even though they want to be ‘challenged’ at work. We like busywork; those little things we use to keep ourselves ‘busy’ while at work. You have three reports to finish; you don’t feel in the mood to tackle them, so you decide to clear out your desk – rearrange everything, number a spreadsheet, go through your mail, reading through and deleting those you don’t need, organising the files in the cabinet upstairs, etc., etc. Jobs that do not involve too much mental energy… busywork. A feeling of accomplishment descends on you when you are done, and you didn’t have to go through any stress. You see?

This affects productivity, but then if you had faced those reports within the same period you spent wrongly, you might not have spent all day staring at your computer. This we don’t want. Doing all the busywork helped boost your morale and you were able to get moving on those reports and even tackle them efficiently. Don’t stress too much. The next time you feel like you are drowning in work, take some time to finally do the busywork that’s been piling up. You will be surprised at how productive you will later be.

What do you think about this post? What other things affect your productivity? Do share your thoughts in the comments section.

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