December 1, 2022 –

What ‘Productivity Paranoia’ is and how to overcome it

Table of Contents

Do you constantly worry that you’re not being productive enough? If so, you’re not alone. Productivity paranoia is a common issue for remote workers. But don’t worry – there are ways to deal with it. In this post, we’ll discuss if productivity paranoia exists, if so, what is it and some tips for overcoming it!

What is Productivity Paranoia?

Productivity Paranoia refers to when people feel like their perspective of productivity isn’t the same as their employer’s. And that comes with multiple problems for them and the company they work in.

Why does it happen?

Productivity Paranoia often goes hand-in-hand with other problems in the workplace or is produced by something rooted in these possible problems. Paranoia, as a definition according to the English Cambridge dictionary, is: “An extreme and unreasonable feeling that other people do not like you or are going to harm or criticize you….” This belief almost forces one to work harder or more, despite being exhausted from overwork. A feeling familiar among workers, who often find themselves tethered to their devices and working ever-longer hours. One manifestation of this stress is what has been dubbed the Quiet Quitting effect and The Great Resignation era we are experiencing. These silent protests signal that people are fed up with the status quo and will no longer be what other generations were. Productivity Paranoia, as the latest trend, is also seen as a passive-aggressive practice of managers who drive employees to quit (or give up) by neglecting them, withholding resources, or burning them out. This shows growing dissatisfaction with the work structured and managed in contemporary society. There is where new ways of work come into play, such as remote work and the creative work cultures we are seeing today.

Productivity Paranoia in remote businesses

Productivity Paranoia can have several negative effects on remote businesses. For starters, it can lead to employees feeling overworked and stressed out. This, in turn, can lead to productivity levels dropping, as employees simply don’t have the energy or motivation to work skillfully.


Additionally, it can make employees feel isolated and disconnected from their team. This can further hamper productivity, as employees may feel like they’re not part of the team and their work is not valued. And finally, it leads to high levels of turnover, as employees simply leave companies that make them feel anxious and stressed.


Read: Top challenges and solutions of remote working.


Leaders need to plan for individually tailored, flexible hybrid arrangements for workers who want it. This means making trust part of your company culture–the opposite of Productivity Paranoia.


Too often, they see their role as monitoring and micromanaging workers instead of supporting and empowering them. But this approach only works in the short run. It breeds resentment and disengagement, and it ultimately stifles creativity and productivity.


When leaders shift their mindset from control to trust, they unlock the potential of their people and create an environment where everyone can thrive.

How to overcome Productivity Paranoia

Here are some tips on how to manage Productivity Paranoia within your business, either remote or not. And if you are lucky, avoid it in all types:

Recognize that Productivity Paranoia exists

The first step to dealing with Productivity Paranoia is simply recognizing it exists. If you’re not aware of the problem, you can’t do anything to fix it. This presents as such.

Talk to your employees

Communication can be the root of many problems if not well cared for. Paranoia grows within a lack of conversation. Talk to your employees. Talk to your teams. About the goals, visions, business deadlines, and overviews, ask them how they’re feeling and if they’re experiencing any stress or anxiety around their work. If someone says they need help, listen and try to find a solution. Being clear about what is expected and how their work fits into the bigger picture can help to improve morale and retain talent.

Cultivate work-life balance

Start asking some questions yourself and encouraging your team leaders to do so as well. Some such as:

Are your expectations reasonable? 

Are you articulating them clearly and consistently?

Where are the breakdowns showing up?

Productivity Paranoia is the belief that we must always work to be productive.

This mindset is harmful for many reasons, but mainly because it creates a false dichotomy between work and rest. We are not machines; we cannot sustain peak productivity indefinitely.

We need to feel in control and intrinsically motivated to achieve a successful workflow. This type of paranoia robs us of both of these things.

Read:  The power of emotional courage. 

Encourage empowerment

Autonomy and authority are not usually used in businesses when it comes to characteristics that everyone has in a company. It’s even rare when a boss or a leader presents ideologies that bring these characteristics.

Interview:  Strategies from a leader to fight Quiet Quitting.

Productivity pressure problems arise when employers or managers have unrealistic expectations of their employees. It can also occur when expectations need to be clarified, or communication breakdown occurs.

This is a problem because it can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout. Which also are connected to productivity itself.

Seeing the current corporate shifts, treating every collaborator as an asset empowered to improve the company itself it’s more valuable than ever.

Build trust

Many leaders struggle to understand what inspires their employees, and as a result, they use ineffective methods. When you build trust with your employees, they’ll be more likely to trust you, which will go a long way toward mitigating productivity paranoia. It goes without saying that low trust is also something that all too often leads to Productivity Paranoia. Leaders even resort to investing in activity-tracking software in larger organizations with low certainty and communication. But when you resort to monitoring keystrokes per minute or eye movements scanning a screen, you’re tracking activity and threatening trust. To rebuild trust, go back to the basics and focus on the core elements of trust. To build this type of conviction, you need to have a system where people feel comfortable being open and honest with each other. You also need to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to goals and objectives. Lastly, you need to create an environment where people feel like they can contribute and be heard. By creating a trusting environment, you’ll foster a more productive workforce. Read more about us! 

Final recommendation

So, how do you overcome Productivity Paranoia?

One solution that combines all the mentioned methods is nearshoring. By partnering with a nearshoring firm where these characteristics are fundamental, the benefits are evident and many. Not only are talent costs lower, quality remains high, but communication breakdowns and misalignment on deliverables are cut down by the similarity of timezones and immediacy access.

To nearshore, achieving success, maintaining a healthy work culture, and achieving innovation in your field can come effortless.

Read: The 10 questions to ask software firm before hiring.  

If you’re considering nearshoring to boost your team, contact us today! 

We’d be happy to chat about how we could partner with you to help reach your business goals.

Check our way of working, services or contact us directly 

to start building the best with DNAMIC!

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