Employees are wasting more time than ever. Over 89% of employees admit to it, with 31% saying they waste 30 minutes a day. Another 31% say they waste roughly 1 hour a day.
Question is, what are they wasting their time doing?
Instead of working, surveys from Salary.com say, employees are:
- Talking to co-workers (43%)
- Participating in online activities, like shopping or games (34%)
- Texting and personal calls (4%)
Why are employees wasting time? The same survey found a few different reasons, like employees not being challenged enough or lack of incentive to work harder. Others are just bored.
Minimizing time-wasters all starts with one thing: leadership.
Here’s how you can keep the time-wasters on track in your office.
Start at the beginning
The solution to time-wasting starts at the very beginning – at the time of hire. As a leader, you need to have a crystal-clear vision of where you want your organization, team or department to go.
A clear vision and a solid job description will give you the best members for your team.
Trickle it down to the rest of the team
Does every member of your team know what they’re expected to do, how they’re expected to do it and by when?
Now, take it to the next level. Does every member know why they do what they do?
They have to know what an important piece of the puzzle they are. When people can see what they contribute to the end result, they’ll rally together naturally, focus on getting things done, and making good use of their time . The most productive, successful teams are the ones that have a clear purpose.
Make yourself more visible
No one wants to be a micromanager, but you can make your presence known without your employees feeling like you’re hovering over their shoulders.
How much time do you spend on the office floor? Does your door stay closed for a majority of the day?
Often, just the presence of a manager can cut back on time-wasting. Walk the floor a few times during the day and encourage people to come into your office.
Added bonus: It’ll jumpstart more employee-to-manager interactions, meaning you’ll be in the loop about any problems or issues a staffer is dealing with.
Give them some incentive
Nothing motivates employees quite like rewards. Encourage them to be less wasteful with their time by giving them the incentive they need. Start an office competition to reward your most productive workers or the most effective team.
The rewards don’t have to be expensive either – they can be as simple as a reserved parking space or an extra hour PTO.
Steamline those meetings
Managers don’t want to hear it but we’re saying it: Get rid of meetings. A lot of meetings are unnecessary, and they’re a waste of time. And if you show employees you respect their time by not dragging them through unnecessary meetings, they’re more likely to respect company time and not fritter it away.
Here’s why you should cut back on yours:
- 47% of employees consider too many meetings the biggest waste of time
- 39% of attendees admitted to dozing off during a meeting
- Over 70% brought other work to meetings
- 25%-50% of meeting time is wasted
Researchers also found that the more meetings employees attended, they more exhausted they felt, and the higher they perceived their workload to be.
Take a look at your team’s schedule and see what meetings you can cut. For those must-have meetings, keep the attendance list to critical employees, follow a schedule and stick with the time limit.
When push comes to shove, a quick 5-minute social media break or chat with a co-worker can actually be healthy for employees. But when it starts to impact their productivity and workload, these steps can steer an employee back on the right path.