NEWS

Top 10 Time Wasters at Work: How many are attributable to technology?

You would expect that by having advanced technology that was created to save us time and cut corners (think emails instead of letters; Google instead of leafing through books and journals; and Skype instead of driving to a physical meeting) that we would all be super productive in the workplace. Well think again. A very large percentage of employees admit to wasting time at their place of work, and modern technology does appear to be a key factor.
 Waste Time
 According to this survey, 89% of respondents admitted to wasting time at work in 2014, up 20% from the previous year. Notably, 100% of the respondents who were within the finance and banking sector admitted to wasting time at work.
 
Further research by Harris for CareerBuilder pulled up the below suspects for the reasons why most people wasted time on the job:

1) Mobile phone/texting – 50%

2) Gossip – 42%

3) The Internet – 39%

4) Social media – 38%

5) Snack breaks or smoke breaks – 27%

6) Noisy co-workers – 24%

7) Meetings – 23%

8) Email – 23%

9) Co-workers dropping by – 23%

10) Co-workers putting calls on speaker phone – 10%


With technology dominating the top of the chart, it is clear that in some instances, having a range of technologies available at your fingertips can be detrimental to productivity. Here are some of our top tips for how to minimize the disruption.

Personal Mobile Phones
An astounding 50% of respondents admitted to wasting time at work by texting on their mobile phone. We recommend keeping your personal mobile on silent mode and in a place where you can’t see the notifications flash and restrict yourself to checking it during break and lunch times only.

The Internet & Social Media
We all know how easy it is to get ‘lost’ in the World Wide Web and social media. When one news story leads to another, and another, the time you spend online can really tot up. Similar to our advice for mobile phones, try to save your browsing time for break and lunch times.

Another strategy is to apply what you are reading or researching to your line of work or role. Would a client find this article interesting? Could you write a blog post relating to that news story? Could you drop those facts or figures into your next management meeting? Try to be creative and use the knowledge provided by the Internet to stand out from the crowd in your day to day job.

Email
One of the biggest distractions during work time is ironically, your work email. When you’re knee deep in the month-end accountancy close or at the pinnacle of your annual report and an email pops up in the right hand corner of your screen, it can take you a while to recover from the distraction and get back to your train of thought. If this happens 30 times in the day, imagine the time you can waste being distracted by a pop-up on your screen! The only answer – stop the notifications (see how here) and check your emails periodically to avoid multiple distractions.

Another way to stop wasting time with emails? Pick up the phone! According to a report by HBR,  most companies could enjoy a 5%-30% increase in productivity by cutting down on emails and calling people to speed up the process, as opposed to a few days of email chains.
Man Pizza Min
This survey  also revealed another means in which technology steals time at work is when substandard or faulty technology needs fixing. This can waste an average of two days a year per employee.

As much as technology has notably sped up working processes over the years, it can also be a drain on time, and it is important to understand that in this day and age when we are always online and always available via one medium or another, that the time saved can equally be wasted all too easily. Try to keep a track of how much you use your mobile phone or browse the Internet in a week, and just think about how you could benefit if those hours were completely dedicated to your role and furthering yourself in your career. Snack time, on the other hand, might be one sacrifice too many…

If you would like any further information about this article or event, we would be pleased to help you! Likewise, to understand more about how we could work with you to support your organisation’s recruitment strategy or find out about our current vacancies please get in touch with your local Sheridan Maine office or submit your CV here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sheridan Maine’s unmatched knowledge of Finance and Accountancy Recruitment is why we are the go-to specialists for permanent, contact and interim positions for a broad range of clients across Basingstoke, Southampton, Reading, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Bristol, London and Birmingham.

If you would like any further information about this article or event, we would be pleased to help you! Likewise, to understand more about how we could work with you to support your organisation’s recruitment strategy or find out about our current vacancies please get in touch with your local Sheridan Maine office or submit your CV here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sheridan Maine’s unmatched knowledge of Finance and Accountancy Recruitment is why we are the go-to specialists for permanent, contact and interim positions for a broad range of clients across Basingstoke, Southampton, Reading, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Bristol, London and Birmingham.