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5 Ways Your Boss Is Making You Unproductive


When we miss a deadline, we usually blame ourselves. But, what if it really isn’t your fault that you’re unproductive? What if your boss is making you unproductive? Here are five signs the blame might lie at the feet of your boss.

Unproductive feet on desk

(Photo Credit: Markybon/

Sure, we all have our own tools of unproductivity. We know when we have wasted the day away tweeting and Instagramming pictures of food. However, it isn’t always entirely our fault if we’ve had a totally unproductive day. Sometimes, our employers or our bosses, are making us unproductive. Here’s how.

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1.  Not Communicating Clearly

If you aren’t given clear instructions to complete a task, it’s going to take you longer to complete it than if you fully understand what is expected. Of course, you do share responsibility and should ask if you aren’t sure, but those in management who consistently share only pieces of a puzzle, are somewhat to blame for the time that is wasted on trying to figure out whatever is missing. This also means that feedback needs to be clear, and asking staff what they need to help with productivity is necessary.

2.  Creating a Bottleneck and Holding Things Up

If all projects seem to be held up in one person’s office, that person is the one who is causing the unproductivity. If bosses and managers insist on approving every step of the process, or holding things up, sort of like Congress, this will result in management being swamped and having too much work to keep up. Staff needs to be trusted enough that small parts of the project can be moved forward, and if not, the management needs to determine how important it really is to approve every single minor detail of every project that is being worked on.

3.  Not Allowing Telecommuting

The option to telecommute has been found to be a huge money saver and a way to keep happier and healthier employees.  If the work can be completed from home occasionally, staff members are often more productive and more dedicated. Additionally, time that is often spent waiting for repairs or out of the office (such as sick children) is instead spent on working, when employees are allowed to work from home.

4.  Not Really Delegating Enough Responsibilities

Some employers believe they are delegating responsibilities when they assign small tasks, but often miss delegating responsibility for larger tasks that could kick start productivity. Instead of making employees “manager-helpers”, it is more useful to give responsibility and ownership of the project.

5. Insufficient Training

Training should not be one of the areas your boss decides to cut back on when trying to encourage productivity. Sufficient training in areas such as software and development, can make the difference between producing results and wasting a bunch of time trying to learn and figure out key elements of your job all by yourself.

See, it isn’t always your fault. Sometimes, your productivity is in the hands of your employer. If your boss is making you unproductive, it’s time to schedule a one-on-one to figure out how to get the team back on the productivity track.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever had an employer that caused you to be unproductive? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Christina Majaski
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