It is officially true. Your employees aren’t working all the time they are supposedly at ‘work’.
It’s probably something you’ve always suspected but the news isn’t any less alarming. A third of employees are distracted at work for up to three hours a day and as many as 90% of employees admitted to wasting time at work. Worse, it was found that 4% of employees waste at least half the average workday on non-work-related tasks. You heard that? Half a day!!!
It’s already been told before. Workplace distractions ranging from social media to chatty colleagues are costing your employees 759 hours each year! But if you think you can combat this trend by banning social media altogether or scrutinizing their every move down to the coffee-breaks, then think again! It’ll only jeopardize your position further as most millennial employees would rather leave their jobs than remain suffocated under micro-managing bosses.
So how to stop employees from leeching you off? By changing the way things are done. And measured, while we are at it.
“The days of running adult daycare centers are over,” wrote Johny Reinsch, CEO and Co-founder of Quil in a LinkedIn post that went viral. He makes it clear that as long as his employees deliver their promises, they are free to go and meditate in the Himalayan caves, circle volcano rims in Costa Rica, or just come into the office every day.
While the average employer isn’t as keen as the Quil founder on the idea of unlimited vacations, there is still a rising trend of prioritizing productivity over presenteeism. It is high time that employers shift their focus from how long their people work to how well they work. Reward people for their dedication, creativity, and ideas, not whether they can be found at their desk from 8-6pm.
The silver lining is that more and more companies are coming up with better work agreements and workplace policies to combat this alarming trend of wasting work hours. You cannot eliminate all work distractions, but you sure can motivate your employees to ignore distractions by raising their stakes.
You need do nothing more but inspire your team to earn their perks. Incentivizing people properly can work wonders. Anything else is a costly mistake.
Talking about expensive mistakes, recent studies shed light on a whopping blunder that companies make themselves. Did you know that over 45% of the companies are paying their most talented employees to do trivial jobs that are better automated?
Apparently, expensive talent is very commonly underutilized in companies everywhere. It’s a worrying trend, given that the top talent is wasted on basic tasks when automation options are readily available, sometimes for free.
The Gartner survey illuminated that top data scientists, the most experienced and talented resources, were found to spend their time not analyzing data but preparing the data to be analyzed. They spent a large chunk of their time performing a task that a software will do better. Such underutilization of talent exists possibly because companies aren’t proactively embracing the automation options readily available in the market.
“Whenever possible, automate. Wield human expertise for better purposes than this, I’d say,” said Shihab Muhammed, Founder and CEO of SurveySparrow, an online survey platform. Data analysts and experts will do a better job if they focus on data analysis than data preparation. That’s what tools are there for,” he added.
There is no point in making your hires squat desks - unless they are delivering their best. There is an unfortunate gap between expensive resources and cost-effective solutions, as illuminated by the survey. And maybe companies should start equipping their employees to do the job they were hired to do - if a couple more software to do the heavy lifting needs to be bought, so be it!
Given the trends, it’d be in everybody’s best interest to provide talented employees with the right tools and processes that enhance their efforts.
Or as Johny Reinsch put it, empower your employees—and get out of their way!