Techies: Morning people and list-makers?

But chatty workmates can drain their productivity...

Productive techies are morning people, who like making lists and prefer working on their own, according to a survey into IT workers' productivity.

The research found many techies thrive by using to-do lists to stay on track and record progress. More than half - 60 per cent - of the staff polled said being able to see progress by ticking off tasks helped them boost productivity. The same proportion also claimed working on their own upped their productivity, and said they were able to get more done in the morning.

But bosses may want to take note - the research by tech recruitment website the IT Job Board found the factor most likely to knock IT workers' productivity is lack of clarity in task instructions - cited by almost two-thirds of respondents. In contrast the biggest single motivator is successfully completing a project and "knowing I've done a good job" - cited by 86 per cent.

Other significant motivators for IT workers include earning respect from their colleagues and the size of their pay-packet - pointing to the need for IT managers to create a culture of praise and reward for good work, according to the IT Job Board.

Productive techies use to-do lists

To-do lists: Also good for IT workers' productivity
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Switching between tasks and allocating time slots to certain assignments were also noted as having a positive effect on work rates, according to the research, as was taking a break regularly. Frequent breaks were cited by the vast majority - 84 per cent - of respondents as beneficial to overall productivity.

However, close to two-thirds of respondents also claimed they can remain productive for more than an hour and a half without a break. The IT Job Board also noted some techies are prolonging their working day - either by doing overtime, working from home or starting early - as a way of boosting their productivity.

When it comes to productivity drains, almost half - 49 per cent - of the IT pros polled blamed interruptions from colleagues for reducing their effectiveness at work, and just over half - 51 per cent - pointed to noisy offices as a disruptive factor. Other sources of procrastination identified by the research include IT workers doing a spot of online banking or online shopping, checking news websites and even playing games on their mobiles.

The IT Job Board managing director Alex Farrell said IT workers need to keep a "tight grip" on the priorities of the business to be most effective.

"Setting expectations up front will ensure that the goalposts don't move and that [tech workers] can remain focused and effective," Farrell said in a statement.

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