4 Causes And Fixes Of Time-Wasting At Work

If you’re a business owner, here’s one statistic that’ll make you uncomfortable. Almost 90% of employees admit that they waste time at work. Time is a precious commodity, and in the workplace, time lost doing nothing has grave consequences on productivity. Some surveys show that 9 out of 10 workers admit to goofing around at work (even with loads on their plate). And most of them spend almost over 2 hours of their working time doing nothing. So, why do employees waste time, and how can you make your staff an exception to this bad statistic?

You prioritize being present over being productive

Many employers prioritize the number of hours workers spend at work, and some even pay their workers by this approach. But spending eight hours at work does not necessarily mean that your workers offer eight hours worth of productivity. Science indicates otherwise – the human brain and body aren’t capable of churning out and sustaining high-quality output for an entire eight to ten working hours, even with regular breaks. 

The fix? Prioritize productivity over presenters. Research shows that people get more done when they work fewer hours and less done the longer they work. Additionally, the longer they work, the more likely they will make mistakes. 

You allow too many interruptions

Some studies show that work interruptions can cost your employees 6 hours lost each day. One reason is that it can take more than 20 minutes for an employee to get back into their working groove after their workflow is interrupted. 

It’s almost impossible to eliminate interruptions. And, face it, some distractions can actually help your employees. However, the most important thing is to minimize the number of interruptions, so they don’t dampen productivity. One trick is to encourage your workers to remain tuned in to a particular work for a set period, say, 30 minutes to an hour (or the duration it takes to complete a given task), before attending to anything else. During such periods, workers can disable phone and email notifications, put up some form of “Do Not Disturb” signs, use noise-canceling headphones, or any other thing that’ll keep them focused on the task at hand. 

Your work environment is fertile ground for time-wasting

Flowing from the previous point, you need to ensure that your work environment does not encourage time-wasting. From spending too much time using the stairs and mundane, repetitive tasks to focusing too much on socialization and unnecessary meetings, you’ll be surprised by how your work environment can promote time-wasting habits. 

Solutions like lift installations can significantly reduce how much time a worker takes to make it into the office. You can also cut down on unnecessary meetings and try sending emails instead. 

You’re not incentivizing properly

With the wrong incentives (or none at all), most employees just don’t feel the need to give off their best and won’t mind wasting time at work. Yes, some workers can be plain lazy, but if a large portion of your staff adopts a lazy attitude, you may not be incentivizing them enough.

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