5 Signs of Low Productivity in Your Team and How to Fix It

15 May, 2023 | Read in 5 minutes

Identify signs of low productivity in your team, understand the causes, and learn how to improve them.


Low productivity is a common problem in many companies. According to State of the Global Workplace Gallup, 85% of employees are often disengaged, resulting in an estimated loss of $7 trillion in resources.

To understand the causes and recognise the signs of low productivity in your team, as well as how to turn it around, check out the following explanation below.

5 Signs of Low Productivity in Your Team

1. Declining Work Quality

One of the first signs of low productivity is a decline in the quality of work produced by employees. 

When employees are not fully committed to working well, this often has a significant impact on the quality of their work. This can manifest in tasks being done carelessly, many mistakes being made, and employees not being proficient in performing every task.

2. Decreasing Employee Engagement

Another sign of low productivity is decreasing employee involvement. Pay attention to the small details, such as whether employees complete assignments on time, respond to emails and answer phone calls during working hours. Even though these may seem trivial, they can significantly impact a company's performance.

3. Inability to Reach Goals

If a company is struggling to achieve its targeted goals, this may be a sign of decreasing team productivity.

One way to address this issue is to assess the current goals and determine whether they are realistic and achievable. If the goals are not realistic, it may be necessary to reassess and modify them. 

4. Difficulty in Achieving KPIs

Every company has expectations of success that they aim to achieve. As a result, companies often create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the extent of their progress in achieving each goal. 

If many KPIs are not meeting expectations, this can be a sign of decreasing team productivity.

5. High Absenteeism

High rates of absenteeism can also be a sign of decreasing team productivity. It is not an issue if an employee is unable to work due to illness or urgent family matters.

However, if an employee provides a false reason to avoid coming to work, it could indicate a lack of engagement and commitment to the job.

Causes of Low Productivity in Your Team

The low productivity in your team can be caused by several factors that are not limited to the following:

Rigid Company Bureaucracy: Many companies have a bureaucratic structure that can limit employee productivity. The rigid rules and procedures can hinder employees from working efficiently, leading to reduced productivity levels.

Negative Mood: Employees may experience negative moods due to office politics, cynicism, and distrust. These factors can create an uncomfortable work environment that reduces motivation and productivity. In a survey from Airspeed, an internal social platform, and Workplace Intelligence, the HR research firm,  employees often leave a company due to the discomfort caused by the negative work environment and co-workers.

Lack of Listening: Listening is a crucial aspect of effective communication. Employees need to feel heard and acknowledged, which enhances their motivation and productivity. Even if someone disagrees with another person's opinion, just listening to their ideas can make them feel valued and appreciated.

Lack of Support for Innovation: Companies that do not encourage innovation often experience low productivity levels. Employees may feel frustrated and unmotivated when their ideas are not taken seriously or when there is no support for their innovation.

Lack of Value in Every Job: Some employees may view their work as burdensome and insignificant, leading to reduced productivity levels. According to CNBC, 52% of workers only work for pay, and the tasks they perform are solely to meet the company's targets and values instead of personal satisfaction. 

How to Increase Productivity in Your Teams

Low productivity can be terrible for your team's success. If you notice signs of low productivity, there are steps you can take to increase it. Here are some tips for boosting team productivity:

1. Create a Comfortable Work Environment

It's crucial to create a comfortable and safe work environment for your team. Employees should feel motivated, creative, and safe while working. 

You can do this by introducing natural light, creating more space, and adding some plants to make the workplace look more appealing.

2. Make Meetings Short and Straight To The Point

Long, drawn-out meetings that don't get straight to the point can make employees feel bored and sleepy, wasting their productive time. 

Try to make meetings shorter and more efficient. If a meeting can be accomplished via email or group chat, avoid calling a meeting.

3. Offer Flexible Working Hours

Flexible working hours can boost productivity by allowing employees to work when they're most productive. Some employees work better in the morning, while others are more productive in the afternoon. 

However, it's crucial to ensure that all employees complete their work on time to achieve the company's business targets.

4. Delegate Tasks to the Right People

Delegating tasks to the right people is crucial for achieving productivity in a team. It's not just a matter of getting the work done; it's about ensuring that the work is done efficiently and to a high standard.

To delegate tasks effectively, leaders must first have a clear understanding of each employee's skills, experience, and strengths. This allows them to assign tasks that match the employee's capabilities, ensuring that they can perform the work efficiently and with confidence.

5. Provide Time Management and Productivity Training

Time management training is vital as it can help employees improve their skills and increase their efficiency at work. 

By learning how to manage their time effectively, employees can become more effective in their roles and complete more tasks in less time. You can also use project management tools like VirtualSpace to boost productivity. 

VirtualSpace is an innovative project management tool that uses artificial intelligence to help teams work smarter, not harder. It allows you to manage all your projects in one place, making it easy to track deadlines, milestones, and progress.

6. Hire Sufficient Staff

Overworking employees can lead to stress and reduced productivity. According to a study from Stanford University, employees who work 50 hours or more a week tend to be less productive, especially in the last 10 hours. 

Therefore, it's essential to ensure that your team has sufficient staff to handle their workload.


Recognising the signs and causes of low productivity in your team is crucial for a company. It is equally important to implement the right plans and strategies to overcome low productivity in the workplace. 

By giving employees the support they need and being open to any suggestions they give, companies can foster a positive and productive work environment. Your team productivity is a reflection of the company's culture, leadership, and management style.


Ready to grow your business with VirtualSpace?

One platform to manage and organise your teams, tasks, projects, and more.


Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated

We'll keep you posted with everything going on in the modern working world.