Company-wide alignment is no simple task – the number of apps, amount of information, and complexity workers encounter daily has increased, resulting in barriers that hinder team productivity. According to the Productivity Prohibitors infographic created by SurePayroll, lost productivity costs employers $1.8 trillion each year. Companies simply cannot afford the large cost of lost productivity in their organizations. Learn about these four common barriers that hinder team productivity and how you can help your organization overcome them with Atlassian work management tools.

#1 – Distributed collaboration

In a post-pandemic world, where work gets done looks very different. Some companies are choosing to return to pre-pandemic models with mandatory “in-office” days. Others are embracing hybrid work with a mix of in-office and remote days while the rest are allowing their teams to be fully remote and collaborate distributedly. Whichever way your team is operating, work isn’t happening in one place. This presents teams and leaders with the unique challenge of managing priorities across multiple geographies, time zones, and cultural differences. Distributed teams are often faced with:

  • Lack of visibilityimportant context is not easily found; not knowing who’s working on what, or where information lives…
  • Communication & coordination constraintstrying to meet with teammates in three different time zones, needing an answer from a teammate who isn’t online line yet, comments without context…
  • Poor processduplicative workstreams, no standardization on collective knowledge or documentation, misalignment on goals and decisions…

To overcome these challenges, teams need to prioritize asynchronous communication and use tools that allow them to provide contextual feedback and updates on progress from anywhere work happens.

#2 – Tool proliferation

There are many technologies or applications that can boost productivity. Workers and teams collect these apps, turning them into toolsets to help them get their work done faster and better. However, more apps is not always the best solution. In fact, there is a threshold at which the number of apps a worker uses begins to slow them down instead of helping them get their work done. For example, when a worker moves from one task or app to another to complete a task, they will experience what is known as context switching, a common cause of decreased productivity in the workplace.

did you know?

In a Qatalog study, 45% of surveyed employees say context switching makes them less productive, noting that they spend too much of their day switching between online tools and applications.

Unrestrained tool proliferation can lead to increased costs, tooling redundancies, and complex tool environments that lead to admin strain. To manage costs and balance productivity, organizations should be intentional with their tooling decisions and optimize them around team needs.

#3 – Team alignment

Companies are typically organized by functionality – each team has a purpose or a function they provide based on their area of expertise, often using their own processes and tools to get their work done. While this may help an individual team be productive it can cause a devastating ripple effect – where teams work in tool silos without insights into another team’s work. Teams then fail to make connections to existing knowledge and data, leading to misalignment on initiatives that results in inefficient and duplicative efforts across the organization.

To combat the chaos of executing work across different departments, teams, and tools, an organization might require teams to standardize on one tool set. Although all-in-one tools sound compelling, the challenge with these tools is that they solve many general use-case well, but are not customized enough to handle the unique issues that different teams within a company face. For example, teams that are forced to operate using the same workflows and features for product management may need different features than a marketing teams that works with a lot of external collaborators. If teams don’t get enough features to solve their problems, eventually they will find new ways to work around the standardized toolset, resulting in more tools and more team silos.

Teams need a better approach, one where work is discoverable in real-time, collaboration and workflows are streamlined, knowledge is easily shared, and teams can actively engage with each other, sharing key information to move work along. More shared knowledge between teams means fewer new team and tool silos which will increase overall team productivity.

#4 – Employee engagement

Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Actively disengaged employees are disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, only 32% of full- and part-time employees working for organizations are engaged, while 18% are actively disengaged. The solution seems simple – just find more engaged employees to boost productivity, right?

Easier said than done. Engagement is not a characteristic of employees, but rather an experience created by organizations, managers, and team members. Company culture plays a large role in building a highly engaged, collaborative organization and can take years of investment and effort before it pays off. But the effort seems worthwhile. Gallup’s most recent employee engagement meta-analysis shows that engagement nets productivity, which nets profitability – businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profits.

Employee engagement doesn’t just happen on its own. In addition to these Atlassian recommended tactics, organizations should invest in solutions that build better employee experiences, leveraging collaboration and communication to improve connection.

Maximize productivity with one solution

To reduce barriers and maximize productivity, organizations need a solution that allows its employees to work the way they want while staying aligned with leadership and their cross-functional counterparts. That’s why Atlassian has work management tools – to give business teams a toolset that provides visibility and flexibility to get their work done while staying synced with the tools your tech teams are already using.

Organizations can battle tool proliferation by centralizing work to Atlassian’s best-in-breed work management products:

  • Projects and processes requiring more structured workflows can use Jira Work Management, where distributed teams teams can manage tasks, deadlines, and deliverables – no matter their global location.
  • Atlas is the teamwork directory that improves team alignment by identifying the relationship between teams, work, and goals. Teams can use Atlas as a way to follow along on project progress or goal status without ever needing to set up a meeting.
  • Confluence, the collaborative knowledge hub, helps build better employee experiences and improves employee engagement. It gives workers and teams access to the right information at the right time, Confluence can be used to create, organize, and collaborate on content.

Over 150,000 organizations throughout the world use Atlassian’s work management products today. With this set of tools, teams can choose the best tool for the job, while ensuring alignment across the organization. These products can be used together (or separately) in any number of ways, empowering work to flow freely across an entire organization.

4 common barriers that hinder team productivity and how to overcome them