There’s been some debate amongst business owners and employees alike on the benefits of taking frequent breaks at work. One of the biggest concerns for some is that many employees are already utilizing time to take additional breaks without legal implementation as it is. For some, it may be as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day, thumbing through Facebook or catching up on personal text messages. For others, we’re looking at 30 minutes to even two hours or more a day!
If we’re averaging 1 hour per day, 5 days a week, you’re looking at about 50$ per week, 200$ per month or potentially $ 2, 400 per year (per employee!) in wasted hourly wages. For the average small business owner, this is detrimental to the pocketbook, not to mention productivity.
Keep your eye out for these top 4 time wasters in the workplace:
1. Social Media
It is a big, black hole out there in the Universe of Social Media. With so many platforms and so many different ways people stay connected today, there isn’t much surprise that this is the top contender. The Media itself is closely followed by people today and social media platforms are instantaneous ways for people to get the latest on just about anything happening in the world, at any time.
2. Text Messaging
Coming in at a close 2nd, text messaging is another biggie. Especially common amongst younger generations like millennials, texting is a common and almost preferred way to communicate today. In many cases as to be imagined, a phone call lasting a minute or two turns into a longer more drawn out conversation through texting. Conversing periodically means employees must switch from personal to work tasks more often and therefore causes a rift in focus and the rate of productivity.
With loads of persuasion, suggestions and charm, at 3rd place we have Google, everybody’s go-to source to discover the unknown or self-diagnose (you know you’ve done that one). The previous contenders, texting and social media, often times lead to internet use or questions in general so it’s no wonder we find the plethora of knowledge called Google up next. What’s for dinner tonight turns into googling for easy dinners while the latest top headline in the media is quickly sought after as well.
Last on our list of time wasters, but certainly not least, is Email. Email, much like text messaging, has lead people to expect and believe that they deserve, instant responses or follow up to messages and questions alike. Constantly being interrupted from tasks at hand requires employees to consistently refocus their attention and essentially ‘get started’ all over again. This undoubtedly slows down productivity and defeats the purpose of email being an efficient method of communication.
What can you do to limit the amount of time wasted on these non-work related tasks? Try to encourage limited cell phone use at work unless an employee is on break or is using a work cell phone. This can make an impact on our top 3 contenders as they’re often conducted on personal cell phones. For our fourth time waster, develop a practice for employees to turn off the sound for email notifications for brief periods throughout their work day. Even small, 20 minute increments can lead to greater focus and productivity. Employees can mark tasks off their lists more often and even create a better ability to focus and respond better to emails when the time comes.