There’s nothing more frustrating than stumbling in work due to barriers that get in the way of your progress. We have all experienced work issues, so in order to move forward, we need to locate the barriers that interfere with the way we work. Let’s breakdown the source of work pain  into four aspects:

Organisational barriers (O)

When a workplace is organised and open, people thrive!, It can be disappointing to be working in an environment that isn’t operating smoothly or has an unhealthy work culture. This can get in the way of where you want to place yourself professionally and it can quickly decrease your work productivity.

Team dynamics (T)

Your colleagues may not be the sole reason for your stress, but sometimes there might be too many people working ineffectively on a task or the team actually lacks manpower. Each team member must have clarity about their role and understand how they fit in with the rest of the team and the work that is required of them. This will also impact the way colleagues communicate with each other.

Workflow inefficiencies (W)

Another thing that can make work more complicated is having complex workflows or inconsistent processes with too many steps. Every repeatable workflow should be assessed (or reassessed) to increase opportunities for efficiency and diminish the likelihood of errors. Regular team check-ins, training and communication are essential to strengthen workflows.

System barriers (S)

For organisations and teams to work well, they require systems that support the work being done effectively and efficiently. If the systems are outdated, under-utilised or not optimised for the current working environment and requirements, it can explain why work is a constant strain on you. The key issues to identify are usually around access, structure, settings and taxonomy (categories, tags, naming convention). As with workflow analysis, team check-ins and training will help to identify and alleviate most of these issues. The solution could be to update a system, find a new system or series of systems. The latter requires much more work and effort so it is encouraged to try and find practical upgrades within the current system if possible.

The cost of work pain

Now that we have laid out the source of painful work, let’s understand the impact this can have on you and your colleagues. 

First is the mental and emotional toll it can take on you. It can cause complications to your health, your sleep, and even your relationships with colleagues and loved ones. 

The second cost arising from work pressures and stresses is the time gets wasted. Poor communication, trying to wrestle with outdated systems, looking for information that is not easy to find, too many inputs and the list goes on 

There is so much that can be done to improve these costs by identifying the source of your work pain.

The solution

To begin restoring your work productivity, let’s start with a really simple exercise.

  1. Begin by jotting down every barrier that is causing frustration and stress from the workplace, bearing in mind the cost it can have on you even outside of work.
  2. Once you have listed the pain points, write next to each the source of the pain. ie. Put an O for organisational barriers, T for team dynamics, W for workflow inefficiencies, and S for systems barriers. For some pain points, it might be a combination of sources.
  3. For ‘bonus points‘, you can even prioritise which ones are causing the most pain by ranking them, or even select the Top 3. These are the ones you need to address first.
Barrier Category
Cannot access org intranet S Low
IT slow response time O/W High
Cannot locate files W/S Low
Jonathan not replying to my emails T Medium
Joint email account not utilised T/W Low
Hard to update database S High
Forget how to lodge expenses W/S Medium

Check out The Task Smasher Calculator to put an actual figure on the time you and your team could win back by reducing these pain points.

Good news… Digital Team Coach has prepared something great for you! We will be launching a series of discussions talking about how to simplify work and the like! So reach out to find out more. Stay tuned for we will be releasing the next steps on your journey to simplify your work next week!


To learn more about how I can help you streamline your organisation:

1. Grab a free copy of the free 18 Epic Solutions guide

Identify the most common crappy tasks and ways to resolve them so that you can get the best out of your team and technology. — Download here

2. Join our DIGITAL FORWARD PROGRAM and transformation your organisation

If you know you need to transform online: I'm working with a few leaders for the next 8 weeks to help them get clarity with their digital strategy to save thousands of hours over $50K in the next year. If you'd like to start this month, shoot me an email with the word FORWARD, and I'll get you all the details.

3. Book a strategy call

If you have outgrown your systems or they are not serving you anymore or they just feel painful, then book in for a free strategy call to get clarity on your goals and arrange your next steps.

4. Work with me and my team privately

If you'd like to work directly with me and my team to save thousands of hours of wasted time each year... just send me a message with the word PRIVATE... tell me a little about your organisation and what you'd like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details.