Workers Say Workload Sapping Productivity

February 12, 2008 ( - Asked to name the single biggest barrier to on-the-job productivity last year, a clear plurality of workers cite being "overloaded," according to a new poll by LifeCare, Inc.

In fact, 39% of all workers responding to the online poll said that they simply didn’t have enough time to accomplish all of their tasks, more than three times the number that indicated that job expectations were not made clear to them, the next most cited response. Also cited were:

  • Pay/rewards not appropriate – 8%
  • Child care issues – 7%
  • Politics/personal conflicts – 7%
  • Elder care issues – 6%
  • Didn’t have the proper tools or equipment – 6%

Another 15% cited “other” reasons (each response represented less than one percent) including personal health issues, personal relationship issues, general stress, a long commuting time, and inadequate training.

A Year Ago

LifeCare conducted the same poll one year ago, and while the top response of “overloaded” was cited by a nearly identical 40%, other issues, such as pay and politics loomed larger then – and a lack of clarity in job expectations was much less common:

  • Pay/rewards not appropriate – 15%
  • Politics/personal conflicts – 11%
  • Basic job expectations were never made clear to me – 5%
  • Didn’t have the proper tools or equipment – 4%
  • Child or elder care issues – 4%
  • Other reasons – 21%