How much time do your employees waste?

How many people can honestly say they work a full 8 hour day?  Whether it’s  15 minutes spent making coffee in the morning or  10 minutes catching up on Facebook after lunch, the occasional work break is inevitable.

A recent study showed that the average worker admits they waste three hours per eight-hour workday, not including lunch and scheduled break-time. However, a different study stated that workers only spent about 35 minutes, per day, not working.

While concluding exact amount of time workers waste during their workday might be difficult, (who is going to admit they are looking for deals on patio furniture rather than writing that “time-wasting” blog they were assigned?), we can all say we have been guilty of frittering away some precious time during our workdays.

Lets take a look at four ways time gets spent in a day at work.

 

Time Waster #1: Emails

Emailing has become the top form of communication in the workplace. What’s the first thing most of us do when we come into work? Check our emails. Technological advances in the way we communicate has brought about the notion of having to be connected at all times. Our clients, and even our colleagues, tend to expect instant responses to each and every message, even when we are sick or on vacation. While email can be extremely beneficial, a lot of our workday is spent reading and answering emails. Many professionals have actually found they can get  more done during their workday if they don’t respond immediately to every single email.

 

Solution:

Try not to check your email first thing in the mornings. Instead, spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour working on something more important first thing in the morning. This allows you to  concentrate on what you have to do without any of those unread emails distracting you or stressing you out. You can also increase productivity by simply turning off your email notifications for short periods of time during the course of your day. Whether it be 15 minutes or 60 minutes of time set aside in your day,  you’ll realize that during that time you’ll be able to work through your to-do list.

 

Time Waster #2: Online Distractions

 

The Internet is known for luring employees deeper and deeper into its web (no pun intended) with each and every click. It is said that 60% of online purchases are made during regular work hours and 65% of YouTube viewers watch between 9am – 5pm on weekdays while (presumably) at work.  Social media outlets such as YouTube and Facebook can be a great platform for brand awareness and business growth, but let’s be honest – how many times are you actually on these sites marketing for your company?

Solution:

If you just absolutely can’t keep yourself from refreshing your Facebook feed every 10 minutes, simply block it. Stayfocused is an extension Google Chrome offers that allows you to set a certain amount of time you’re allowed to visit any website of your choice. Once that time is up, it denies further access to these sites. Company-wide, you can have your IT Company adjust your firewall settings to block certain sites entirely, for certain periods of time, or for certain people. If that seems too harsh, you can always better manage your lunch time. Take the first half of your lunch break to feed yourself and use the second half to completely indulge and get your daily fix of online distractions without feeling guilty.

Time Waster #3: Colleagues

 

Nobody enjoys spending their entire workday in silence. Humans are social creatures by nature. We all appreciate a little chat here and there during our workday. For that reason, co-workers can be awesome, but they can also take up time in our day.

What did you do this weekend? Are we supposed to send this email this week or next? Where should I upload the document? Can you review this really quick?

We have all had those colleagues who would rather talk than work. While it can be very flattering to be the expert/most interesting one in your group, the fact that you are constantly engaged in conversation can quickly become irritating. Not to mention, it can take up a huge part of your workday.

 

Solution:

Headphones! Wear headphones while you work, at least while you’re concentrating on a project. Even if you aren’t listening to anything, having both of your headphones in will signal to your colleagues that you’re focused and in the zone. I understand some of us have very persistent co-workers who may still decide to come on over to your desk and give you a quick tap on the shoulder. At that point, simply tell them you are glad they came by because you need help with a tender. If they leave your desk with some work to do, they’ll think twice next time they come on over for a chat.

 

Time Waster #4: Meetings

 

Meetings are a necessary evil in most companies. 47% of professionals say their biggest time waster is having to attend too many meetings. On average, 33 minutes a day is spent  trying to schedule these meetings. You don’t always need to have a meeting. Nothing makes an employee more frustrated than having their schedule filled with unnecessary meetings. We have all been to those meetings where literally nothing pertained to you and absolutely zero words came out of your mouth. While communication in the workplace is extremely important, there are better ways of communicating information that doesn’t involve attending meetings every other hour.

 

Solution:

Next time you’re invited to a meeting that you believe might be irrelevant for you, ask the host why they think your presence is needed. You can then set up some sort of system where your supervisor can go in your place and simply cascade down that information to the rest of the team. If your supervisor is too busy to attend, then you could ask to meet with the host a couple minutes before to share your insight because you will not be able to stay the entire time. You can also make the suggestion that a meeting be handled via email or through your project management software. Using this strategy can at least start a project in the right direction without bogging down everyone’s time.

 

There are many other time wasters that we could discuss, but we’ll have to save that for another time.

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

Call Now ButtonCall Us Nowblankblank