Do your staff pride themselves on being perfectionists? Will they hold off on submitting work until it’s just right? Does it take some employees significantly longer than others to finish a piece of work? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, your business’s productivity might be impacted by perfectionism.

In this post, the fourth of our 5-part series on productivity enemies in the office, we’re going to take a look at a potentially surprising productivity killer – perfectionism. You may be wondering what exactly is wrong with perfect? Well, keep reading to find out why taking too much pride in work may be your employees’ biggest downfall.

What’s wrong with perfect?

While there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work and wanting it to be the best it can be, obsessing over how perfect something is can be a hindrance. If you’re not submitting a piece of work because you aren’t 100% happy with it, you may find that you don’t get much done at all.

Perfectionists tend to spend too long proofreading emails, work and even organising their desk space. This eats into valuable working hours and means that they rarely get anything substantial done. Dr Simon Sherry from Dalhousie University believes that, while perfectionism is often viewed as a positive personality trait, it is mostly a self-defeating behaviour.

Combating perfectionism

Reducing perfectionism enough to boost productivity but continuing to encourage well thought-out work from your staff can be tricky. There is a fine line between perfectionism and conscientiousness, so it’s important to realise the positive traits and discourage obsessive natures.

If you yourself notice that you or your staff are spending too much time on a single email, or find yourself obsessing over a piece of work, there are a few tactics for reducing perfectionism…

Learn to let go

First things first, in order to reduce perfectionism and boost productivity, you need to learn to let the little things go. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and miscommunication can be a hindrance in the workplace, but more often than not, they cause less disruption and use less time than proofreading one piece of work 15 times.

Pass on responsibility

A big part of increasing office productivity is encouraging staff to work collaboratively. It’s very rare that a piece of work is finalised having only been viewed by one person. Accepting that you’re part of the process and passing the responsibility onto the next person is a great way to detach yourself from finished work and free up plenty of time to get started on the next project.

A productive office

Reducing perfectionism while still encouraging good work can be difficult. But, in a well-facilitated and modern office space, working won’t seem like so much of a chore. Anvic provides serviced office spaces across Manchester and Burnley to help you increase productivity no matter your office requirements. Get in touch with us today to find out more.