Quit Wasting Time

A recent survey from Udemy indicates many employees feel under-trained, overly-distracted, and their productivity suffers as a result. Top workplace distractions include:

  • Co-workers who interrupt and chat
  • Office noise, activities
  • Meetings, especially when poorly facilitated
  • Social Media
  • Feeling overwhelmed by changes

So what’s the solution to this waste of time? The survey suggests employers pursue these solutions:

  • Provide flexible scheduling and remote work options
  • Designate “quiet” work areas
  • Establish workplace norms to reduce noise and distracting behaviors
  • Train staff on time management and effective meeting facilitation
  • Implement days where no meetings are allowed

These interventions may prove helpful, but they address only one side of the equation.  Individual employees must also take responsibility for distracting themselves with their own choice of behaviors. It is a personal choice to use social media, and as such an individual responsibility to ignore it during work hours. Simple as that. Or is it?

In the spirit of “In order to fix a problem, it must be understood”, employers with additional insights to the issues impacting their employees may have greater success in helping them improve their personal behaviors.

Social media technology is purposely designed exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology that make them addictive. Additionally, this is reinforced by new social norms where fellow users expect instant response; a lengthy delay is considered a personal slight, like being ignored. This article explores psychology and new social norms.

The survey indicates a whopping “36% of millennials/Gen Z say they spend 2 or more hours per work day looking at their phones for personal activities”! Frustrated employers can help them quit wasting work time with establishing workplace expectations and having conversations informed by insight from this article.

Some people are proud of their multi-tasking abilities, and claim this makes them more productive. Neurological research refutes this and indicates the brain cannot multi-task; the most effective way to work is to focus on one project at a time, within set time parameters to add some urgency.  To learn more, click here.

This researcher found that employees who focus on doing their jobs are more engaged and satisfied; but there is a potential pitfall to hyper-focused employees. For optimal organizational success, employers must facilitate broader scope discussions between employees, as described here.

Today’s dynamic, hyper-competitive business environment means employers must frequently change existing processes, reassign job responsibilities, and adopt new technology. This relentless pace of changing work expectations can overwhelm employees, reducing their productivity. Employers cannot stop the market realities forcing these changes, but they can help employees manage workplace stressors by sharing a few simple tips.

Employers Council members can access multiple resources to identify and overcome time wasting habits and practices at the individual and organizational level:

  • Classes like “GOAL – Get Organized at Last!” and “Time Management
  • Consultants to facilitate discussions among teams to overcome ineffective practices
  • Onsite “Lean” workshops to identify and reduce wasteful practices in the workplace
  • Library books on effective meeting management, personal accountability and more

Quit wasting time in your workplace. Contact Employers Council for help.