Studies have shown that employee productivity is declining. You might be aware of this in your own business. These days, distractions can include speaking to a colleague for too long, tea/coffee breaks, cigarette breaks, and most infuriatingly, mindless web browsing. Mindless web browsing makes up hours of unproductivity at work. You sort of forget what you’re supposed to be doing, end up on the deepest, darkest depths of an old friend from school’s Facebook profile, and even people you don’t know at all…it’s a very dangerous habit to get into.
Let’s start by talking about the cost to your business when your employees are distracted.
What Do Unproductive Employees Cost You?
64-70% of employees are not productive day to day, and admit to wasting time on the internet. The internet has made procrastination far too easy. The reality is probably very different (and even more shocking) than this example, but let’s use it anyway.
Let’s say you’re the CEO of a company, and we manage to estimate that your employees waste 2 hours each over the course of a week surfing the web. If each of these employees earns an average of £12 per hour, that’s £24 per employee, per week. Now, let’s say that you’re a very small business, with just 15 employees. You’re still losing out on £360 per week. That’s £1440 per month! Time that could have been spent finishing up projects, collecting invoices, and taking care of other essential tasks all goes down the drain, as well as your money that certainly could have been put to better use. Remember: this example is on the lower end of the scale. In reality, unproductive employees will waste much more time than this each week (in some cases, each day!).
Proudfoot Consulting conducted a study that found that the time cost of unproductive workers added up to a loss of around 33 days per worker, per year in the USA. The estimated monetary cost of lost productivity came in at $598 billion annually for U.S. companies alone. Paying attention yet?
Even the British workforce is becoming less productive, costing businesses £22 billion each year in the UK. A study (by TotalJobs) of 1,000 workers and over 250 employers showed that nearly 1 in 4 UK employees believe they are consistently productive at work. The average UK worker spends 1 hour 24 minutes a day on tea breaks, chatting to other employees, and using social media. If you’re a business in the UK, it could be costing you an average of £4,467 per employee every year.
What Can You Do About This Productivity Crisis?
1) Keep Employees Engaged
Engaged employees are happy employees. When they feel engaged with their work, they are less likely to procrastinate. Making sure employees stay engaged is an important factor, and a consistent process.
2) Ensure All Employees are a Cultural Fit
Employees that fit in with your company culture will get more done to a higher standard.
3) Introduce Incentives and Initiatives
Incentives and initiatives should encourage your employees to work to the best of their abilities. Multiple research studies have shown that gifts, rewards, and incentives hold significant meaning, especially when they come from management that really makes them feel part of a team.
4) Encourage Breaks
It has been proven that the highest performing employees take breaks! CurrentWare’s BrowseControl software allows you to block and enable unproductive websites and applications at scheduled times.
5) Use Employee Monitoring Software
Employees that procrastinate aren’t necessarily bad employees. It could be that you simply need a deterrent to get them out of bad habits, like employee monitoring software. CurrentWare’s BrowseReporter tool can produce over 20 monitoring reports which can help demonstrate to employees how much time they spend not working.