Slacking Off: Reasons Your Employees Are Doing It

sleeping employees
  • Poor management, lack of recognition, ineffective performance management, and lack of training can lead to presenteeism or slacking off.
  • Offering career advancement opportunities, providing employee recognition programs, and investing in ergonomic furniture are ways to improve productivity.
  • Coaching employees, implementing reward systems, and conducting regular performance appraisals all help boost employee motivation and performance.
  • Acknowledging employee efforts is vital to creating a successful enterprise with maximum productivity.
  • Investing in your employees’ training and development ensures they have the latest skills and knowledge to support their job functions.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you invest much money, time, and effort into creating a successful enterprise. However, no matter how exceptional your business is, you can run into moments where your employees start slacking off, affecting your company’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability. It can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know why it’s happening or how to fix it. Here’s how slacking off can affect your productivity, why your employees are doing it, and ways you can deal with it.

Presenteeism And Slacking Off

One of the leading causes of low productivity in the workplace is presenteeism, or employees being physically present but not working effectively. It costs companies billions of dollars annually. There are various reasons for this. Here are some of them:

Lack of Recognition

Recognizing your employees can boost their morale and work passion. Employees who feel their efforts are recognized drive themselves to work harder and produce better results. If you fail to acknowledge your employees’ efforts, they might feel like their work is unimportant, leading to slacking off or apathy. Therefore, investing in an employee reward program and providing regular feedback on their job performance is vital.

Angry manager at work

Poor Management

Effective management is crucial to any successful business. Poor management is a recipe for disaster. Employees who feel their manager is incompetent or lacks leadership skills tend to lose confidence and motivation. The result is that they start to slack off and become indifferent to their job duties. Good management sets clear expectations and follows employees’ goals and objectives. Employees need effective communication and guidance to stay focused and productive.

Lack of Training

Investing in your employees’ training and development is one of the most effective ways to motivate them and improve employee performance. On-going training ensures that they are up to date with the latest skills and knowledge to support their job functions. Not providing enough training opportunities means that your employees may become stagnant in their roles, leading to boredom and lack of engagement, again leading to slacking off.

Ineffective Performance Management

Performance management includes setting clear goals, providing feedback, and measuring employee performance. If you don’t have a proper performance management routine, you risk having employees who do not know what they should do or what is expected of them. They might start slacking off because they aren’t sure if they meet the requirements and expectations. Employers must have a formal performance management process to encourage employees to reach their full potential.

No Opportunities for Advancement

Employees want to know that there’s a clear career path for them within your company. When employees feel they have no way to move forward, they feel stuck and unfulfilled. As a result, they lose motivation and can start slacking off. Offering career advancement opportunities to your employees creates a sense of direction and gives them a reason to come to work every day.

Open office for people

Office Layout

Lastly, your office layout can affect employee productivity. If the desks are too far away from each other or there’s a lack of comfortable meeting and break areas, employees start to feel disconnected and unmotivated. They become easily distracted and start to slack off more often. To maximize productivity in your workplace, consider investing in ergonomic furniture, providing multiple meeting areas, and creating an open space. If you don’t want to spend too much on furniture, consider buying reliable used office furniture. Although they are used, they offer the same comfort and support as their new counterparts.

Ways to Make Your Employees More Productive

Thankfully, there are ways you can make your employees more productive. Here are three known ways you can do that:


One of the most in-demand skills of the 21st century is coaching. Coaching helps employees develop their skills and capabilities, boosts their confidence, provides support and guidance, and maximizes productivity. Coaches can work with your employees individually or in a group setting to help them learn new techniques and strategies, solve problems, and develop their potential.

Reward System

A reward system shows your employees that you value and appreciate their efforts. Whether it’s a monetary bonus or an incentive program, rewarding your employees for their hard work encourages them to be more productive and motivated in the workplace.

Regular Performance Appraisals

Another way to boost employee performance is through regular performance appraisals. It allows you to provide feedback on what they have achieved so far, identify areas for improvement, set realistic goals and objectives, and measure progress. Performance appraisals are also an effective way of managing employee productivity issues, such as absenteeism or low morale.

Slacking off can be damaging to your business. It affects employees’ performance and decreases productivity in the workplace. To prevent slacking off from becoming a problem within your company, invest in an employee recognition program, provide training opportunities for your employees, and ensure your office layout is comfortable and ergonomic. Most importantly, coach and reward your employees for their hard work and accomplishments. Doing so will help you keep their motivation high and ensure maximum productivity in the workplace.

Share this post:

Contact Us

    Scroll to Top