Are Your Teams Wasting Time At Work?
According to a Robert Half Technology survey, almost two-in-five say that they will be wasting time at work shopping from the office or on a corporate device this holiday season.
Vouchercloud.com in their study of nearly 2,000 full-time office workers, revealed that 79% admitted that they were not productive throughout the day while 21%, believed that ‘yes’ they were productive throughout the day.
The study revealed the top 10 distractions while they were at work:
- Checking social media
- Reading news websites
- Discussing work activities with colleagues
- Making hot drinks
- Smoking breaks
- Text/instant messaging
- Eating snacks
- Making food in office
- Making calls to partner/ friends
- Searching for new jobs
Respondents were also asked, ‘Do you think that you could get through the working day without giving in to these distractions?’ 35% admitted that ‘yes’ they could. The remaining 65% of respondents believed that ‘no’ they couldn’t.
54% explained that these distractions made the working day ‘more bearable’, and that the rest of the working day benefited from the intermittent breaks. Other reasons for wasting time include boredom, lack of incentive, being unsatisfied with their job, and not getting enough pay. Finally according to their survey, Tuesday mornings are considered the most productive time of the week, while Friday afternoons are seen as the least productive.
Research indicates the average Canadian worker “wastes” several hours of office time each week on non-work activities. Canadian employees spend an average of 43 minutes per day on their personal mobile devices at work — completing tasks such as checking personal email or surfing social media or shopping for Christmas gifts. They also spend about 40 minutes per day on personal tasks such as running errands, according to a survey by OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company.
Wasting Time At Work Is Costly Business
If the average employee wastes an hour or two while at work, the total lost salary dollars can add up to millions for Canadian businesses.
Productivity in the workplace is a difficult issue to navigate, as employers want to ensure both fairness and morale are retained. Knowing the reasons for wasting time gives leaders a good tool to increase productivity. Click to tweet
Many studies have shown that employees are most productive when they feel that their effort is recognized, so evaluating your recognition and reward programs may be beneficial. If “not having enough work” is really the cause, evaluating workload and staffing levels may help distribute the work in a more efficient way.
Don’t Be Quick To Assume That Social Media Time Is A Time Waster
More than 4 in 10 workers reported that they use social media for work purposes. Employees cited the following as the most common uses of social media at work:
- Research: 35%
- Promote the company to their social networks: 28%
- Uncover new business contacts: 26%
The Accounttemps/Robert Half report found that according to CFOs, they did not view this as wasting time at work as it was actually a benefit to the company as it:
- Expanded the network of valuable contacts: 30%
- Promoted the company’s attributes and accomplishments: 22%
- Attracted new business: 22%
- Provided better customer service: 21%
There were some concerns around social media being a time gobbler, employees behaving unprofessionally, and sensitive or negative information about the company, but that this paled in comparison to the benefits.
Having clear policies that recommend the appropriate use of technology and the minimal use of social media distractions, can help employees to balance their work and the need for energy management throughout the day. It may even be prudent to encourage “creative time”.
No matter your social media/Internet policy at work, it is important to make it clear and consistent. With clear rules and regulation, employees may understand the expectations, waste less time at work, and thereby increase productivity.
Do you waste time at work?
How much time is acceptable?
What is your biggest time waster?
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!