As technological improvements change the way that we complete our work functions, so does the monotony, and boredom that come from doing the same task day in and day out. This tedious regimen leads to unconscious time waste and decreased productivity and job satisfaction. Below are a few ways that employees waste time while working for someone else.
Idle Chitchat And Office Gossip
Boredom leads to idle chitchat and the behaviors that bring to mind the old image of employees gathered around the water cooler spreading office gossip.
This kind of time wasting activity doesn’t only affect lower ranking employees, though. It has a tendency to flow over into middle management levels affecting meeting efficiency and timeliness as well.
Online Social Media
Social media is becoming one of the biggest time wasters of all times with its easy access at any time of day or night through computers, tablets, and cell phones. No matter which method employees are using to stay in touch with their social media at work, it is happening on a daily basis lowering the company’s efficiency and productivity. This is why many companies have instituted workstation monitoring to track which sites their employees are using.
The battle over smoking breaks between smokers and non-smokers has long been a contention of disagreement. Smokers feeling that they have the right to smoke when the urge arises and non-smokers feeling as though smokers are receiving extra break time to accommodate their habits.
Besides wasting time, smoke breaks are also a source of social click behaviors and isolated social groups within the company, with smokers developing their own close-knit circle and non-smokers generally feeling like outsiders. This behavior impedes teamwork and creates conflicts that need to be resolved, in turn, wasting, even more, time.
Trips To The Bathroom And Break Room Procrastinating
Balancing healthy movement to alleviate repetitive motion and vision issues created from sitting in front of a computer or doing the same repetitive task for long periods of time, while maintaining acceptable productivity levels can be a challenge.
Although it is important to get up and move around every twenty minutes or so, that doesn’t mean that this movement has to take associates off track by making unnecessary trips to the break room or extended primping time in the bathroom. Simply taking a minute or two to stand up and stretch while visually looking across the office creates a healthy balance of movement while maintaining a productive workflow.
Being at work during business hours makes balancing home responsibilities and work responsibilities challenging. And, the invention of online shopping has helped to some extent with being able to accomplish tasks that normally needed to be completed during off hours while at work through a few clicks of the mouse.
Unfortunately, this improvement in home efficiency has become a time waster at work. It’s easy when working in an office at the computer for hours a day to simply jump on a site and do some quick shopping at any time. However, in reality, this convenience should only be used during break times, to maintain an equal balance of work and home productivity.
Personal Phone Calls
Many companies have begun to require office staff to turn off their cell phones and put them way when in the office to minimize the amount of untraceable time being wasted on personal texting, personal calls, and gameplay.
Personal calls still take up a substantial amount of office time through land lines, but landlines are easily tracked providing employers with the ability to audit just how much time is being spent talking to friends and family, and how much time is being spent dealing with clients when it comes to phone calls.
Wasting time at work is not a new occurrence. It is something that employees have been doing since the invention of the office, and with new technology comes new ways for employees to waste time at work. Understanding these potential time wasting activities is the first step to improving company productivity and minimizing time wasted.