31% of Employees Waste An Hour Daily at Work
A career building site focused on matching qualified workers with hiring businesses conducted a survey of over 2,000 employers to find out about what employees do to limit productivity. Overall, cell phone use and texting has been the biggest concern and most noticeable form of distracted workers, but there are some underlying issues with time wasters in general, and getting rid of smartphones in the workplace is not going to solve that.
In the survey conducted by Harris Online, it was found that at least 31% of employees will waste an hour a day, there is a large percentage of time being wasted for more than an hour. Another 30% of workers will waste 2 or three hours per day and one out of twenty workers will waste half the day or more not doing any work. Another majority of those polled found that nearly 90% of workers will waste at least half of an hour a day, causing concern about finding quality workers.
Wasting time is attributed to:
- Talking on the phone
- Sharing gossip
- Surfing the Internet
- Engaging social media websites
- Snack or smoke breaks
- Dealing with distracting neighbors
- Taking too much time to travel to and from meetings
- Reading junk or spam emails
- Playing video games
- The list goes on and on.
Sadly, many workplaces become something of a schoolyard. Supervisors end up dealing with childish situations that cost time and resources for actions that should not occur in the workplace. Employees might prank each other or bully, harass and distract other workers to keep them from remaining focused. There are times when distractions can be a good way to refresh the brain or boost morale, but there needs to be a sense of boundaries in order to make sure that things get done. Today’s employees expect to be able to handle some personal items with their smartphones or goof off from time to time. A happy work environment should lead to quality work, but it is important for employees to know where to draw the line.
Too often, having fun involves foolishness and unsafe practices. Businesses must uphold a modicum of professionalism and childish behavior must be set aside. However, employers must understand the importance of working with happy workers, so there needs to be a proper amount of perspective in the workplace culture to be safe, cheerful and professional to keep everyone on task. Here are ways to make sure employees are devoting as much time as possible to work related tasks and not wasting any time.
Find out what needs to be accomplished daily, weekly, monthly, annually and make sure everything is in place to achieve those goals. Organizing tasks by priority and frequency will ensure that the most productive tasks are tended to in a timely manner to allow wiggle room for ‘wasted time’ that might turn out to be thought provoking and innovative.
Find ways to curb distractions
Try to set an environment that is free to temptations to goof off or waste time. Very rigid companies will not allow their employees to use a personal cell phone during work hours, but more relaxed companies should take notice about things that would distract their employees such as video games in a break room or bean bags, piles of boxes, or a surplus of unused space.
Shared areas should include centralized amenities to minimize the distance traveled and the time spent traveling back and forth between break rooms, conference rooms team equipment or other storage. If it takes more time to travel from one location to another throughout the workday, then employees will spend more time traveling that they could be spending on working and can run into distractions along the way.
Set a good example
Don’t post to social media sites or text incessantly if employees are expected to keep those activities down. Tend to personal matters on personal time and remain motivated while on the clock. Don’t procrastinate or avoid projects that don’t seem like fun and set a good example for making sure that everyone else contributes their best as well.
Write procedures down
An effective way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to write down what is acceptable and what is to be expected if conditions are not met. A company policy should have outlines for disciplinary measures and be complete with an agreement from the employee that they will meet terms conditional to their employment. Company policies will explain what activities are not accepted in the workplace and make employees aware of monitoring and administrative requirements as applicable to usage of company Internet and computers.