Time Wasting In The Office And How Much It Really Costs

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Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Most of us never intend to waste time at work, others have a bit of a habit of it, but at some point, regardless of your role or position, you will hate time in the office. We aren’t talking about the odd coffee break, although this too has its effects. But, when you start to add up all the little time-wasting activities, they begin to have a financial impact.

If you want to achieve your business goals and increase your profits, it is necessary to enhance productivity in the workplace. To do this, you will have to understand the ways in which we waste time at work. Here is a round-up of ways we all manage to waste time at some point in our careers.

The Obvious

While it is obvious, it is probably one of the hardest to avoid and control!  Social media is a time-waster at home and at work. We receive one message and we promise ourselves we will just check it, 10, even 15 minutes later we have caught up on all of our Instagram news. Arriving to work late isn’t just about the working time you miss out on, it also reflects your frame of mind for the rest of the day. Finally, there is the chatting, whether it’s at the photocopier or grabbing a coffee. It’s rude not to strike up a conversation about the weather, but this can also lead to another extended period of time when you aren’t working.

The Not So Obvious

In this category, you can include things like work emails, fixing mistakes, forgetting and having to reset passwords, etc. If you notice your office has a lot of mistakes, and particularly in communication, find simple methods of communication that will reduce the need for repetition and correction. If necessary, go back to a whiteboard for planning that everyone can see, use apps that will keep everybody up to date. Keep your emails short and to the point.

One Person’s Productivity Having a Knock-On Effect

We all strive to meet our deadlines but for one reason or another, sometimes they don’t get reached. This is frustrating for us, but in many situations, the result of missing our deadline is that others then can’t continue for their work. Another individual action that affects others is the office gossip, it’s an interruption that may start with an individual, but it soon reduces the productivity of many.

The best thing you can do is to ensure that all employees have the right tools, materials, and most importantly, instructions to complete their task. At the same time, you must learn how to leave your staff to do their jobs without interrupting to check upon them.

Meetings About Meetings

Meetings are a funny thing, it’s like running, something grown-ups do. We need to have meetings because just the sound of the word is important. So companies start to plan meetings because it’s what they think should be done. There comes a moment when your meetings become pointless and invaluable. The talking is endless and the productivity is zero.

We aren’t saying that you should never have meetings, rather, only have meetings when there is a purpose. If you have things to share and discuss each week, then schedule a weekly meeting. If not, save that time and let your staff continue with their duties. Find out what types of meetings are useful for your employees and make sure each one has a clearly defined agenda.

The Right Amount Of Staffing

This goes both ways. Over-staffing less to employees not having enough to do. Spirits are dampened because they don’t feel like they are maximising their potential wasting their time and your money. When you are understaffed, employees have to take on additional responsibilities. Multitasking often leads to errors and reduced productivity.

It’s crucial to get your staffing right, not just in terms of the number but also the skills. When your staff feels like they have a balanced amount of work, their skills are put to use, and they feel happy in their working environment. This combination will lead to increased production.

In Conclusion

The exact cost of wasted time is going to vary greatly. For larger companies, the figures may be in the millions, but even if you are a small to medium-sized business, this could run into the thousands. There are ways you can tighten up your workplace to improve productivity. Another solution is to consider the use of staffing agencies. Staffing agencies are able t provide the right skilled workers for the preferred period of time and even with the ideal cultural fit.