The Biggest Time Sucks at Work and How You Can Eliminate Them
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Unproductive workers can cost a business a lot of money, one study recently reported that Fantasy Football games alone cost employers $6.5 billion in lost productivity.
So with March Madness heating up and our interest in personal finance best practices, MainStreet put together a list of ten common time sucks and tips on how to eliminate them:
1. Facebook and other social media: Amy B. Hollingsworth is a natural science biology lab coordinator the University of Akron. She spends seven hours a day at a computer and says that at least 2 to 4 hours a day is spent on Facebook. "I have named my Facebooking at work 'fwerking,' Hollingsworth says. "I constantly have my friends on Facebook telling me to stop 'fwerking' and get back to work." If employees feel they're spending too much time on social media when you should be working and they cannot stop, there are programs that block social media, which can be set to only allow workers on it during breaks and lunch. Also, employers can block social media sites from work computers, but as that won't stop them from using their own devices, rules might need to be set and enforced.
2. Meetings: "If you earn $25 per hour and take part in a weekly one-hour meeting, it's costing a company more than $1,000 per year," says Steven Macdonald, marketing director at WorkZone. "Now imagine the same meeting needs ten employees to attend - that's now $13,000 each year." Instead, Macdonald suggests using Skype chat groups or cloud-based tools to manage decision making.
3. Managing Emails: "The biggest time suck for the employees I speak with is 'email hell' -- they have way too many emails," says Lori Dernavich, an employee performance advisor. Dernavich says she advises her company clients to implement the Three-Email Rule. "An email can only go back and forth three times," says Dernavich. "After that, someone has to pick up the phone to continue the conversation."
4. Let me pick your brain: "For managers, these interruptions typically come from newer team members who are looking for an easy answer they could figure out themselves," says Beena Kavalam, a career coach and strategist at CoachBeena.com. Kavalam says she advises clients to implement a strategy: "Before coming to you with an issue, your team member must think of at least two recommendations for how to resolve the issue. If they still can't figure it out, then they can ask you after sharing their two recommendations. This helps build the problem solving skills of your team while freeing up more of your time."
5. Phantom Theft: Mikayla Howick with Retirement Planning Partners explains this is when employees use company time to deal with personal finance issues. "Studies show that employees spend up to 20 hours per week dealing with personal finance issues," says Howick. This includes dealing with their personal financial issues including checking bank statements, dealing with credit card companies and fighting with their spouses about money troubles. In addition to implementing rules against using work time for personal business, Howick says it's important that employers offer good benefits that are explained properly to the employees.