Clock on a table

How to reduce time wasting at work

It is not a shock to learn that people waste time at work, but a survey by Conference Genie earlier this month revealed the true extent of the productivity that is lost during working hours, especially amongst younger people. According to the survey 80% of 18-24 year olds waste time at work, with 76% of 25-34 year olds said they would ‘sometimes’ or ‘often’. The percentage dropped to 52% in those aged over 55, which although it is a smaller amount shows that time wasting is prevalent throughout the workforce in its entirety.

While it would be unreasonable to expect 100% productivity from your staff at all times, it is important to encourage a culture of productivity to ensure your targets are met and your clients are satisfied. Doing so can also help your staff remain positive in the long run, as by being productive they will achieve their goals and get more gratification from their jobs.

Without micro managing it is difficult to notice time wasting when it happens, and even harder if you are in charge of a remote workforce, but there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening at all.

Empower your staff

The survey also asked respondents how their employers attempted to boost their productivity. Only 31% stated they were offered flexitime options, yet Conference genie noted that this option, and offering remote working was a popular way to boost productivity amongst workers in a previous survey they had conducted. Trusting your employees to work when, or where suits them can empower your staff while also giving them the opportunity to work during their most productive hours.

Draw the line at personal work

If your employees work from home, it can be tempting for staff to use the time when they are sat at a computer to complete personal tasks such as checking their emails, arranging appointments online or getting distracted by their social media. This is difficult to prevent as the line separating work and life continues to blur, but management concerned about this can draw up agreements or set a policy which encourages these activities to be completed during lunch and tea breaks, or limiting the amount of time which can be allocated on these tasks during the working day.

Keep up a presence

If your staff feel like they are lacking observant management, it will be more tempting to waste time at work. Even when managing a remote workforce implementing task organisation systems and time management software can help you to create a virtual conversation with your staff, for a better working connection.