Ten Office Time Thieves That Reduce Employee Productivity
Labor productivity in Spain remains an unresolved issue. In general, workers tend to spend many hours at work, but part of this time is wasted in unproductive activities and professions, whether or not related to their own work. In 2016, the OECD (Organization for European Cooperation and Development) already claimed that on average, Spanish workers spent around 1,701 hours per year on their work, or an average of 36.5 hours per week. A figure that was maintained in 2018 and which continues to place Spain among the group of countries where more time is devoted to work. More than, for example, UK, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark or Germany, yet performance and productivity are lower.
Some studies have quantified that time lost at work represents 30% of the total working day. “Distractions or time thieves reduce productivity much more than we realize because of the effort it will take later to refocus on what was being done,” says Joan Pons, CEO of EffiWork.
EffiWork, the people management solution developed by WorkMeter highlights that although many companies are aware of this problem, in most cases it is not quantified. The Spanish company, a pioneer in productivity measurement and time control systems, recalls that productivity measurement systems allow the management of work by projects and by objectives, which facilitates the vision and exact knowledge of what employee does and where you are at.
For Joan Pons, CEO of EffiWork, “despite the fact that telecommuting has increased and with it the special times and activities that steal time from employees in the office have been reduced, there are also other” time thieves. “At home. They continue to threaten employee productivity. Cell phones, Internet surfing, endless phone conversations or teleconferences can lengthen our working hours and reduce our efficiency.”
What is important is that we become more and more aware of how and how we use our time every day. To do this, we must analyze our working hours and eliminate the superfluous, which does not help us and takes time and effort. Acquiring and integrating good work habits helps improve our work dynamics, which improves our time management. This is the key to efficiency, being aware of how we distribute our working hours and what the result is at the end of the day, of the week … With these indicators we can assess our performance and from there , analyze and react to be more productive and more efficient.
Vices or time thieves in the office that reduce productivity
Use of mobile. Smartphones offer more and more possibilities and strengthen our connection networks with many people. Multiple and continuous communication which however requires almost constant dedication. The mobile constitutes 50% of the distractions of an employee in his working day. Silencing it and moving it away during the work day will improve our performance and focus. It is also a good idea to limit mobile consultations during work breaks. Be multifunctional. Being on one task, and on another, and on another, makes activity difficult for your brain and is not very operational. When trying to multitask, you always run the risk of forgetting one of them and leaving it incomplete. So it is advisable to focus on an important task and stay focused until it is completed before starting another task. Likewise, we need to allocate the necessary time for each task and keep it present as we plan our day. The Internet. Browse the net to get information, consult shopping sites, search for the radio station, find the best flight or stay offer, explore new leisure activities and schedules, make reservations or bank procedures … The Internet offers endless possibilities at your fingertips. click, countless temptations that absorb working time and reduce productivity. Mail: Visiting and checking mail is a high risk activity for the workday. New practices advise closing it after a first morning reading, as leaving it open will constantly attract our attention with alerts and warnings and we will be surprised to check one after another. Social networks and interruptions between peers. Employees typically have multiple and follow hundreds of accounts. There are some very active ones that generate a lot of content and grab attention without stopping. Not silencing or turning them off during work can ruin working hours as their attractiveness is powerful and once inside you lose track of time. Add to that the interruptions from colleagues that one receives throughout the day in the form of questions, doubts, requests for information or favors, the total time “wasted” is considerable. One solution to these forays into employee activity is to be able to let others know that we are immersed and focused on a task and that we don’t want distractions. In the case of telecommuting, we should be able to block chat or workgroup notifications. Meetings and teleconferences. It’s a common complaint among employees: too many unproductive meetings. A meeting involves an investment of time and effort for several people. Add to that the time it will take them afterwards to resume their task. For a meeting to be effective, the convocation must include the objectives and purpose of the meeting, the points or topics to be discussed, and the estimated duration of the meeting. It is also advisable to book meetings to discuss relevant topics and avoid them for the simpler ones. Stops for breakfast, coffee and smoking. These types of interruptions end up wreaking havoc when they are no longer needed and become routine and frequent. If at the end of the working day we add the minutes that we use in this kind of country, there are cases where it takes an hour and a half. Procrastinate or procrastinate. Leaving certain jobs or activities for later or for a better time can only lead to more stress and later feelings of guilt. Procrastination is a huge source of dissatisfaction and frustration. In addition, it most often leads to an incomplete end product or, at the very least, could be improved, because the lack of time will have prevented it from perfecting itself. The right time will never come. Organization vs disorganization. A good system of organizing, planning and executing tasks will help the employee to have everything under control and completed on time, deal with unforeseen events and deal with new projects to come. Disorganization leads to a loss of work efficiency which affects productivity. Experts advise starting the working day by organizing and planning pending tasks, grouping them according to their characteristics, and leaving room for a few healthy breaks. In addition, our vital and mental energy during each working day is limited. As the day progresses, our decision-making abilities and productivity decrease and the risk of inadvertently making mistakes increases. This is why it is recommended to face the most complex tasks in the morning when our mind is fresh, rested and at 100% of its cognitive capacity. Learn to say “no”. Accepting tasks without distinguishing between suitable and unsuitable ones can affect employee productivity. When you take jobs outside of the end goal, you are jeopardizing that same established goal. Therefore, applying assertiveness to clearly rejecting tasks or activities that are not contributing is a healthy habit to avoid overloading the work schedule and to help maintain boundaries to save scheduled work.