Looking for ways to stop employees wasting time at work, or even to improve on your own time management skills? Luckily for you, we’re here to help.
Why do people waste time at work?
It’s no secret that many people will find ways to waste time – and the workplace is no different. For a manager or employer, seeing timewasters at work certainly isn’t ideal. However, there are times when individuals may get distracted from their tasks without realizing that they’re doing it. There could even be a variety of distractions within the work environment that contribute to employees wasting time at work. On the plus side though, there are solutions to this problem.
An obvious one for many companies is to simply make use of a tool that can help with time management, like Work Time Tracker for example. Or, if you want to make sure you’re hiring good, motivated workers, you could take a look at HR metrics for a little insight on some statistics.
Five of the most popular time wasters at work
There are so many things that can be considered a waste of time when in the workplace; from prioritizing the wrong projects, to keeping a tab open for ready for research that may encourage workers to deviate from the subject at hand. One of the best ways to deal with decreased productivity is to look at the root causes. With this in mind, here are the 5 most popular reasons why people waste time at work:
A general lack of motivation #1
There are likely to be instances where work can begin to feel boring. When there are large projects to complete or less-preferred subjects to address, even those who love their jobs may start to feel deflated or uninspired. While this isn’t something you can prevent from happening all the time, it is an aspect that can be addressed if you find yourself or your workforce displaying a lack of motivation.
General interruptions in the workplace #2
Many things can interrupt individuals while they’re working. If you discover that your need to keep focus, or that your employees do, it may be worthwhile to minimize distractions. Take down busy artwork and remove talking points (like unusual décor items) in favor of plainer, less potentially entertaining solutions.
Subconscious distractions #3
Aside from looking at visual distractions in the workplace, consider the subconscious obstacles that may be present. Plenty of individuals have admitted to compulsively checking their emails and while this can be a relatively small waste of time, it can have an impact. Encouraging workers to close unused tabs could prove to be a worthwhile deterrent.
Not utilizing small chunks of time effectively #4
There are bound to be times when you or your employees simply don’t have anything to do. Small chunks of downtime occur, often while waiting on somebody else or for something like a file to download. In these instances, having a checklist of small tasks to hand could help to fill in these gaps and keep productivity at a high level.
Not writing things down #5
Whether there’s a particular instruction, task, or just a thing you know you or a team member will need to remember, it can be a good idea to promote notetaking. Writing things down physically can be better for memory and this can be another way to boost overall productivity without having to enforce any extra rules (notes can be taken digitally too, if it’s more convenient).
Three ideas on how to deal with wasting time at work
All of the points above are common when thinking about why we waste time, and a few tips to help ensure the work day runs more smoothly. Fortunately, there are also a variety of other things that an employer can do to help minimize the chances of distractions occurring. Here are just 3 examples of things that any manager hoping to boost performance could do to help:
Create a good schedule for workers to follow #1
Simply having a clear and easy-to-read schedule of the day’s events can be an excellent way to keep everybody on track and focused on the tasks at hand. This can also be fantastic for reducing the chances of things getting mixed up and adding more clarity to the work that needs to be done on any given day, so it really can be beneficial in creating a more efficient workspace.
If you want to be able to do this quickly, easily, and digitally, it could be worth taking a look at Online Work Schedule Maker and the variety of features it has to offer.
Avoid having an unproductive environment #2
While you generally don’t want to stop your employees from interacting with each other, be mindful of excessive and unproductive communication. Many people find that simply gossiping with other workers is one of the biggest distractions – but even noises around the office can defer someone’s attention from the task at hand.
Because of this, helping to make sure that the work environment is as quiet and relaxing as possible will often make a difference.
Try to limit the number of meetings #3
While meetings can be beneficial in several ways, hosting unnecessary ones will usually just be a waste of time for everybody involved. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that every meeting has a specific purpose, or that there’s always something important that needs to be addressed. If there’s nothing beneficial about having a meeting, it’s usually not going to be productive.
How to master the process of time management in the company?
With these few ideas, you could be well on your way to keeping procrastination and distractions to a minimum. Time management is an important aspect and luckily for those who are interested, there are plenty of tools available (some of which we’ve already mentioned).
If you’re looking for more ways to stop wasting time at work, you’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of resources available to you. A quick read of this post about workplace productivity could be perfect if you want to simply help your employees reach their full potential and be more efficient at work.