You know your time is valuable. It’s why you hate sitting in long, pointless meetings and participating in useless conference calls. But your employees’ time is valuable, too. That’s why you pay them for it. Wasted employee time can cost your company dearly.
One study found that fantasy football alone cost employers $6.5 billion in wasted time. Factor in Facebook, email, online shopping, blogging, the myriad other pursuits your employees engage in to pass the time, and you are almost certainly losing valuable time and finite cash. The right time tracking solution can put a stop to this.
A time tracking solution helps you assess how your employees spend their time. You might be surprised by the trends that emerge. Here’s why you need to track employee time.
Lost Time is Lost Money
Theoretically, at least, there’s no limit to the amount of money your business could make. But time? Time is a precious and finite commodity. No matter how much money you have or how efficient your workers are, there are only 24 hours in a day. The odds are good that you only use eight or so of those hours for work. But how much of that “working” time is actually spent working?
Seventy percent of Internet pornography traffic occurs during working hours. Now that’s a lot of wasted time. Research suggests that employees spend between 1.5 and 3 hours at work on non-work tasks — and that doesn’t even include the time they spend at meetings, chatting with co-workers, procrastinating, and engaging in other time wasters. Do you really want to pay your employees to surf the web or look at NSFW sites? That’s money you could spend on advertising, on more productive employees, or on your own salary.
Time is money. And when your employees waste their time, they waste your money.
Efficiency vs. Busyness in the Workplace
If you’re like most employers, you might be a bit paranoid about wasted time. But there’s a difference between efficiency and busyness. Research shows that taking frequent breaks can actually increase efficiency while forcing an employee to work nonstop depletes productivity and increases burnout. To get the most out of your employees’ time — and your budget — you need to know the difference between productivity and busyness.
As a preliminary matter, some employees simply work more quickly, or more intelligently, than others. They might be the ones who spend the most time on other pursuits because their workload does not fill their work day. So if an employee is getting everything done ahead of time and you see them playing on Facebook, they might still be a more productive employee than the one who is always working but never meeting their goals.
In a fast-paced working environment, many employees feel pressured to always be busy. So they fill their time with meetings, phone calls, and other busywork that accomplishes little. Don’t be fooled by an employee who is always busy. The best measure of efficiency isn’t how frazzled an employee seems, or even how many breaks they take. It’s whether they’re getting tasks done. A time management solution can help you assess what’s holding back employees. This can empower you to make better management decisions, such as reducing the length of meetings, or assigning projects to the fastest and most efficient workers.
An Incentive to Get Things Done
Employees who waste time are usually aware of this fact. They feel unmotivated, or resentful, or a thousand other emotions that justify their time wasting. You can be sympathetic, of course, but an employee’s emotions about their job are not your problem as long as you provide a reasonably comfortable and affirming workplace.
So what can you do? The right time management solution gives employees an incentive to stop wasting time. In fact, after you implement a time management solution, you might see a sudden surge in productivity because the unproductive suddenly become productive. Put simply, you might never know who wasted the most time, or how they spent that wasted time, because the least efficient employees will feel a push to do better.
Of course, some time wasters don’t know that they’re wasting time. They feel productive because they’re busy — even if their busyness is spent on useless tasks. These are the employees who can most benefit from a time management solution. It clearly shows them that they’re wasting time, giving them an incentive to manage their time more wisely — and specific information about what better-managed time will look like.
No More Missed Deadlines
Missed deadlines are part of corporate life — or are they? All too often, businesses mistakenly believe that these embarrassing incidents are unavoidable.
The truth is that missed deadlines are usually due to two factors —
1) procrastination and wasted time; and
2) underestimating the amount of time each prong of a task will take.
By tracking employees’ time, you can more accurately estimate deadlines. That means fewer false promises to your customers.
No Need to Micromanage
Micromanagement doesn’t work. It demoralizes your staff and leaves you with little time to do anything else. So don’t stand over your employees’ shoulders. A time management solution tracks their time without the stress and pressure. That allows you to give substantive feedback, rather than endlessly nagging your staff to be more efficient.
Wasted Time vs. Down Time
Everyone needs downtime. Human beings aren’t machines, and can’t spend every second of their day working. So there’s nothing wrong with allowing employees a bit of downtime. Time tracking solutions allow you to assess how much downtime your employees need. You might even find that your staff benefits from more downtime! We help you determine the difference between wasted time and downtime, allowing you to help your staff schedule balanced days.
Striking a Balance
Efficient work is about balance over time. Not every day can be one of peak productivity. Our software encourages your staff to cultivate balance. Our time use reports give you valuable clues that can help you achieve that balance. We want to help you create a collegial work environment that’s highly efficient, without the micromanagement and stress. You and your staff deserve it!