Questions tagged [productivity]

Questions about the ability to get work done in an efficient manner

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44
votes
10answers
10k views

How do I keep busy during slow times, without looking like I have nothing to do?

I do a lot of tech support work and sometimes I find myself waiting on people or generally going through a slow time. I get a phone call something like once a week. I mainly setup virtual machines and ...
30
votes
3answers
11k views

Adjusting to an “open” cubicle office layout

About three months ago I got a new job and moved from an office where employees had modest private offices all surrounding a shared work bench area to an office with pretty small cubicles with half ...
8
votes
5answers
12k views

I'm not getting enough work assigned from my supervisor. Should I try to find more work or leave the company? [closed]

I recently (6 months ago) got my first job as a Software Developer (before I spent 2.5 years as tech support with some programming/software support). About 20% of the time I don't have any work to do. ...
206
votes
11answers
38k views

Team members spending too much time on Stack Overflow

Almost 8 months ago, I encouraged my team members to follow Stack Overflow so that they can read questions, help others, and build their skills. But now this has gotten out of hand. I have a team of 5 ...
42
votes
6answers
7k views

Is there evidence to suggest that certain office layouts are better than others for productivity?

Joel Spolsky is pretty famous for advocating private offices for workers, particularly software developers (see here, here or here for example). I've also read that Microsoft generally has private ...
41
votes
14answers
18k views

How can I make sure my remote workers are not slacking off?

I have a company (about 6 programmers, and 14 workers in total). As I am going to expand my company, I am thinking about hiring remote workers for programming jobs and get them to be involved in the ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Intern - how to deal with situation when my current project is on hold and I do not have more tasks to do in software industry?

I'm currently a software development intern, and I've been in this company for almost 2 years. I really enjoy the office atmosphere here. My supervisor gives me a lot of space and freedom in terms of ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Should I tell my manager that I'm having personal issues?

I am having a personal crisis that is making it difficult for me to focus and be effective. My productivity is down a bit, and I am not performing up to my managers expectations. Should I talk to my ...
3
votes
2answers
746 views

Should I know what work/tasks/projects are next?

I've recently started working at a software development company where the style seems quite different to my previous experiences. Mainly, the work comes infrequently and after I finish it, I don't ...
161
votes
14answers
25k views

Staying focused during automatic processes, “It's compiling”

I recently ran into quite an ironic situation. After changing a small part in some code and telling my computer to start compiling, I switched to a website and ran into this: [xkcd comic 303 by ...
37
votes
7answers
6k views

How can a company implement a “20% time” program like Google's?

I've read that Google's 20% rule is about encouraging fun and innovation. How can my company implemented and manage a program like this? A good answer to this question should also cover these sub ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Changing the culture of overtime to efficiency

I work at a very young start-up company. We have had turn-over rates (mass resignation of staff, thrice) in the past but changes in the system have led to a more a stable employee retention and better ...
40
votes
7answers
11k views

What to do when my boss explicitly says he has nothing for me to do? [duplicate]

I work in a small office (three people usually) and I am fairly new (here less than three months). In general, I have things to do or can pester my boss to either give me something to do or make the ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I motivate myself to work on projects I don't believe in or care about? [closed]

I am generally pretty good at getting stuff done. In fact that's my reputation. I am very productive as long as I think the project is interesting or think it will do a lot to help our company and/...
8
votes
4answers
872 views

In what ways can you adapt to a hot workplace?

I currently work in a large building with an open floor plan. Recently, the thermostat in the building was turned up to only start cooling when it gets to 76 °F (24.4 °C). With a lot of people, and a ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to handle interruptions/distractions by colleagues at work? [duplicate]

I work in an organization where my job is usually a Desk job. Many a times when I am busy, some of my team members seeks for some help related to work. Being a professional, I always leave my work/...
124
votes
16answers
20k views

Constantly pulled onto different tasks/projects, becoming exhausted

I'm a data-analyst for my company and I also perform full-stack development work. I have a web-development project I've been working on for the last 8 months, and the primary focus from my boss and ...
61
votes
12answers
10k views

How to deal with less productive days? [closed]

Yesterday I had one of those days you get once in a while. You are less productive it is hard to focus on work related subjects or just any subjects at all and you cannot wait the day to be over. The ...
53
votes
4answers
10k views

Struggling to finish project, how to tell coworker?

About 8 months ago I began working on a project for a colleague (part of my job is to do side projects like this). Essentially developing an excel application for a very large database we have. At ...
15
votes
6answers
17k views

How to not let co-worker's incompetence affect my productivity

How can I not let a co-worker's incompetence and sloppy work ethic affect how I treat him? He's a generally very nice guy who can't seem to adequately learn our business nor our product to be ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How to be productive on a 9 to 5 work environment as a new programmer? [closed]

I am a master student currently doing my Internship in a software development field. This is my first work experience and one thing that I notice is the fact that it is difficult to always concentrate ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Optimal office size: cubicles versus small rooms versus open plan? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there evidence to suggest that certain office layouts are better than others for productivity? Which of these three (and possibly others) are most beneficial to a company, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I enhance my skills when my current job is not providing much scope? [closed]

I have more than 3 years of experience in IT. Sometimes I personally feel that I lack proper guidance as my surroundings are not providing me that much exposure and most of the professional people ...
6
votes
3answers
639 views

How do I avoid discussing government politics at work? [closed]

The U.S.A. just witnessed its first debate of the 2012 presidential election. Invariably, workers all over the country will be eager to discuss what they saw on television. But this begs a larger ...
52
votes
10answers
21k views

Who should pay for team building events?

I work in a big company and tasked with increasing engagement of employees who more or less have settled in their own (not so efficient) ways of doing work. One of the suggestions on the table is ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I ask for a longer break from my job?

I have a 5 days working schedule (and on the weekends I do work for personal growth). My schedule is literally so hectic that sometimes I feel I need a long vacation (at least 15-20 days). With such a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do companies disregard investing in productivity equipment? [closed]

Why do most companies have no special policies for improving productivity on their workplaces, especially in terms of ergonomics? Such improvements are fairly measurable and the return of investment ...
5
votes
4answers
521 views

How to manage numerous interruptions?

With my job, I often feel unproductive due to having multiple interruptions per day that drain my time. I do not want to seem like I am not doing anything (if my productivity is look at in terms of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to handle being the new guy with not much to do? [duplicate]

I was hired at the end of April to fill a role for project that is just now starting to ramp up. The first two weeks on the job I spent time completing administrative tasks and various new-hire hr ...
5
votes
1answer
521 views

How do I deal with a lack of meaningful tasks? [duplicate]

I'm a recent graduate working with a small-medium sized company. I've completed my first project last week and have been assigned to do an enhancement on one of our products. In the past few days, I'...
2
votes
2answers
798 views

How do I effectively handle this situation of no workflow?

I am a software developer who makes games. I really am at my wit's end with the game because of the chaotic workflow. The workflow is getting in the way of me getting anything done properly. ...
304
votes
13answers
51k views

Is it normal to take lots of breaks in a programming job?

I currently have an internship and I've been assigned to a single project and that project alone. While I'm usually several weeks ahead of schedule and put a lot of thought and detail into my work, I ...
48
votes
11answers
15k views

How do I stay awake during work without the use of coffee? [closed]

I find myself drinking 2 cups of coffee a day during work, and feeling incredibly tired whenever I don't get at least one cup worth in my system during the day. This helps me stay awake well enough ...
34
votes
18answers
5k views

Mental Issues from Lack of Movement - how to Address?

I'm a year into my first career step, working as a software -developer/-architect/-programmer/etc for a company of less than 20 people. During the past year, I've developed anxiety, depression, rage ...
33
votes
6answers
5k views

How to overcome fear while digging in HUGE code? [closed]

I joined a new company 1 month ago. This company has code which spans over 19 long years. It's a big company and the code is great without a doubt. But when I am told to work on a task to do, say, ...
29
votes
2answers
9k views

What are the points to keep in mind while facing an interview though Skype (video conferencing)?

After a telephonic interview for a job with a IT company, the company wants to have a conversation via Skype through video chat for the next round. I am totally new to this type of interview procedure ...
51
votes
8answers
9k views

Is automating my job a good idea? [duplicate]

Recently I landed a part-time job re-sizing images for a local custom-printing business, and while I'm really excited to start working, I couldn't help but notice the obvious flaw in the fact that ...
25
votes
5answers
11k views

How to politely decline unproductive jobs assigned by my manager?

I'm working on contract basis with an IT giant. Since I have good experience on the project which I'm working now my manager asks me to train the new recruits whenever they join. Giving knowledge ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you say you are bored and need work to do?

I started working in my current job as a contractor last week and was given an assignment which I completed at the end of the first week. My 2nd week is now into its 2nd day without any ...
6
votes
2answers
876 views

How to be more effective when working “alone” and with no prompt feedback

I am used to working (as a software engineer) as part of teams with team members working together closely, where the technical supervisor/lead more or less controls the flow of the work and interacts ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I handle a solo developer position as a junior developer in a start-up?

I have been working as Junior Web Developer (self-taught) in a start-up company for six months until now. I am currently 19 years old and this is my first employment. I have been programming since ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

How to Manage Your Employees' Absences and Late Arrivals?

I am working in a small (4 people) team (agency industry) and we are on the right track regarding the productivity. The company is really flat and liberal but doesn't allow remote work but on the ...
2
votes
1answer
483 views

How to improve communication between manager and employee to improve productivity?

This is not my situation, but something I am witnessing and was asked to help with. So, suppose that I lead a small team. I communicate and provide details on tasks to team members via email. One of ...
24
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I be productive at unproductive meetings?

I work for a manager that is very fond of meetings. The problem is, however, that more than half of these meetings are both unnecessary and wasteful. For example, we have a regularly scheduled ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to help a colleague who has a low confidence and feels burnt out?

Last week, one of our developers approached the boss and asked for "some rest beginning January". We (boss, me, other members on the team) observed that he is stressed and wants to take a break from ...
6
votes
3answers
845 views

Should I speak up if I feel like my team is coasting our project?

I work in a big tech company which has lots of money and it spends them on experimental startup-like projects to get an edge over other startups doing innovation in this space. Just like startups ...
0
votes
2answers
279 views

What's the relationship between working long hours and productivity for passionate people? [closed]

I've read that working excessively long hours hurts productivity. However, I also know that a large majority of people do not truly love their job. So, if these studies sample randomly from the ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How can you avoid being undervalued as a 9-to-5 developer while 90% of colleagues put in paid and unpaid overtime? [closed]

Lets say: A company states that it does not require its employees to work overtime. About 90% of its employees work extra hours because they get paid for it, or they even work when they do not get ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the benefits of multicultural diversity in the work environment?

What's the impact of multicultural diversity in the workplace (i.e. having people from different countries working together in startups, corporations, co-working studios, etc) and how does it affect ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I tell my boss that he may be underestimating how much work/cost my project entails? [duplicate]

Background I'm an intern in a small engineering firm. Every engineer in the company is a mechanical engineer (including my boss), whereas my tasks purely entail software development. I'm only working ...