People spend most of their day in the office, working for 8 straight hours. But it seems that those eight hours are not used well since most don’t get their work done. According to a survey conducted in December 2015, 80% of employees waste time at work.
The survey found that out 18.5% of employees waste three or more hours at work. It may sound little, but when those hours add up, you will see that there a lot of precious time and resources get wasted. Productivity is hampered, outputs are piled as backlogs, and employees—in the long run—are being paid for work they aren’t really doing.
Now, you may wonder, what habits take employees’ time away from work? Here are six of them:
- Social media and emails
Checking social media and messaging accounts–Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and emails–is a habit that employees do first thing in the morning. After checking and replying to messages and emails, liking Facebook statuses, and watching one-minute recipes, the next thing they’d know is that it’s already lunch time and that they still haven’t done any work for the morning.
- Socializing with officemates
Being friendly and socializing with co-workers is an important way of promoting cooperation and teamwork within the office. However, it can also be a big distraction. Statistics say that it is the number one distraction of employees. It can be conversations in the pantry, gossips about the new boyfriend of an officemate, or the latest fashion trend—all of those can contribute to wasted time.
- Constant meetings
Meetings are an important part of any organization, as it smooths out details about projects and any workload needed. Too many meetings, however, could just disrupt people’s workflow more than it helps. A very entertaining infographic explains that employees consider one-half of the meetings a waste of time. Most of them are overwhelmed, daydreaming, doing other work, or just slept during a meeting.
Some people believe that through multitasking, they can do more work and be more productive. Research proves them wrong. Researchers from Stanford University revealed that multitasking is less productive than focusing on doing one thing at a time. Why? Researchers found out that people who multitask are flooded with information. Because of this, they find it hard to pay attention, retain vital information and switch tasks efficiently. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Don’t force it to do more than that.
- Surfing the Internet
Suppose that you need to research something for work. So you turn to the most accessible resource like Google, perhaps. After a few scrolls and clicks, you find what you need—and things you never knew you needed. Two hours later, you now know where the Yamashita treasure is and are watching videos about how to make snow globes, about cute animals on the web, or heartbreaking spoken word poems about moving on and all that hugot.
And you did with just one research. What more with two or three?
- Distractions and interruptions
These can come in many forms: the ringing phone, a singing officemate, that officemate who always asks for a favor, and, of course, slow Internet connection. Though coming from various sources, distractions and interruptions can disrupt one’s ‘work momentum’, and can make it hard for them to go back to that. It takes someone twenty minutes to go back to their work groove.
Now, what can employees do to stop these habits from wasting more of their time? Here are some ways:
- Create a to-do list. Prioritize the urgent projects and focus on them. Set a time limit and stick to them.
- Don’t open applications, websites, or files that aren’t necessary for work.
- Allocate a time for answering e-mails and messages so that it won’t mess up the work schedule already made.
- Avoid distractions. Close the office door, listen to music or wear noise cancelling headphones for ultimate focus.
Work smart and efficiently for a more productive day!
For more work and management tips, visit the PhilLife website.