How Are Time-Wasters Affecting Employee Productivity At Work?


Remote work has become the latest trend ensuring endless flexibility at work yet providing more opportunities for employees to waste their precious office hours. Around 90% of remote employees believe they spend more time on unproductive tasks while working from home. 

Even if you are a small business owner with a handful of employees or carrying the responsibility of hundreds of employees with a large-scale business, you certainly know the importance of time. And this is the reason all employers make sure they hire skillful employees during the onboarding process. 

Proficient employees make it easier for employers to train them and hand over their responsibilities as soon as possible. But do the employees stay relevant to their job descriptions for a prolonged period?

How To Recognize If Employees Waste Time At Work?

Around 4% of employees use social media while working. 35% of them are playing online games or spending time on shopping applications. And the maximum of around 43% of remote employees is busy responding to unnecessary emails, lengthy team meetings resulting in unproductivity.

For most employees serving under work from home policy today, the office hours can get split into the following categories.

1. As the remote employee believes in eating the big frog first in the morning, they start their day with the most significant task they need to accomplish within a certain period.

2. Gradually, once they get done with the relevant assignments, they get handed over with other supporting tasks which they cannot avoid.

3. After getting through with the responsibilities, comes the most awaited time for a remote employee, and that is a break. As the employers cannot keep a close look at their employees, this time gets extended very often.

4. And lastly, getting back to work to check the status of the projects and assignments worked throughout the day.

Presumably, all these might seem pretty normal. But, it includes numerous timewasters, which can get avoided to ensure complete productivity during working hours.

Note: If your employee actions harm the productivity of your business, it will undoubtedly take you far from achieving your long-term objectives.

Practices That Unveils Wasting Time At Work

Let us roll in and check the time-consuming activities that employees follow at work and how can you identify them from the beginning?

Spending Working Hours Doing Personal Activities

When employees take time out to manage their personal life during office hours, it can create a significant issue for the employers. If the employees are busy attending phone calls irrelevant to work, taking frequent coffee breaks in the middle of an important project, or checking notifications every other minute. The overall productivity of the company gets hampered.

We understand that while working from home, there will be numerous distractions. But the employees have to deal with the same over time and remain productive throughout office hours. Also, make the employees realize the significance of their position in the organization, make sure you remain precise about the objectives that the employees need to meet. 

Another approach is to maintain a positive working environment virtually. When your employees understand the need to work hard to achieve the said goal, it will encourage them to stay productive and avoid wasting time.

So, check on your employees in regular intervals to ensure they are enthusiastic enough to work. If they face any difficulties, make sure you address them as soon as possible. Also, make employee recognition your top priority as it will have added benefits to keep employees motivated to keep working remotely. 

Unproductive Work Practices

There are a few inappropriate habits that the employees follow, which makes them unproductive at work. Either they get distracted often or have no proper understanding of their assignments. Also, the inability to accomplish a particular task might come from having no in-depth knowledge of the skills required to get started with it. And this leads to employees getting misguided with the provided instructions, which makes things messed up at the end. 

Hence, as an employer, you need to build a team incorporating skilled employees who can help their teammates at work. Also, conventional training sessions should be conducted to ensure that the employees do not face any difficulties while taking up the responsibilities.

Getting Overloaded With Tasks

While we believe multitasking can help the employee achieve their significant goals, it becomes a reason for getting their time wasted at work sometimes.

If your employees get loaded with numerous tasks together, they cannot focus on any single of them. And in the view of accomplishing all the tasks at once, they might end up reaching out to none. Hence, help your employees to have a clear vision of the urgent tasks to make sure they address them on a priority basis.

Long-Drawn Meetings

While working remotely, meetings can help the team stay relevant to their work. But long-running meetings can also be a significant timewaster. As an employer, avoid holding meetings with the entire team to discuss the attendance or productivity of the employees. 

It can simply be a waste of time. If you find issues with a particular employee, make sure to have a one-to-one discussion to understand their difficulties and address the same. 

But if you plan to hold a meeting that will take more time, try to schedule it from before. Hence, the employees remain aware of completing their tasks before getting started with the meeting.

Prevent Your Employees From Wasting Time During Office Hours

While listing out the significant time wasters that you need to watch out for your remote employees, we also shared some recommendations and ideas to cut down on them. 

Let us look at some added best practices to avoid wasting time during work.

1. Mention specific break timings and be precise about the break hours of your employees. Also, take necessary actions if you find them taking frequent leisure times.

2. Brief your team about the importance of their position. And how it can help to achieve the long-term objectives of your business.

3. Employee appreciation is a must in regular intervals or whenever you feel the employee is working hard enough to accomplish a task.

4. Involve employees in team meetings to make them recognize the said goals.

5. Make use of employee tracking software to manage every activity of your remote employees uncomplicatedly.

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