Workers on civil engineering projects are frequently confronted with problems that could lead to demotivation. Demotivation is caused not simply by a lack of motivators but the existence of certain situations that cause dissatisfaction and discourage individuals from pursuing desired goals. Workers who are inadequately motivated tend to make only a minimal effort, therefore reducing overall productivity potential. It is believed that removing certain demotivators will increase motivation without necessitating the addition of motivators. This paper aims to improve worker productivity by identifying factors that are likely to induce the demotivation of workers. Predominant demotivators and their effects on the productivity of workers in civil engineering projects are identified through an empirical survey in Hong Kong. Time losses due to demotivation were found to be as much as 13.6 man-hours/week, with material availability, overcrowded work areas and rework being the most significant demotivators involved.