Maintaining employee productivity is essential to success in the workplace. Its effects can be felt across every aspect of an organization. Good employee productivity strengthens customer relationships, increases efficiency, benefits turnaround time, improves employee engagement and wellbeing, and boosts the overall quality and/or quantity of work.
On the other hand, a lack of productivity also has consequences that can echo throughout the workplace, such as poor communication, delays and missed deadlines, low morale, and high turnover rates – just to name a few.
On top of that, low productivity also results in the underutilization of the workforce, which over time will amount to substantial financial loss for a company.
Of course productivity has always been a concern for employers, but since the arrival of COVID, working models have changed, leading to new questions and concerns about how to adapt and ensure high productivity rates among employees.
This renewed conversation about productivity has prompted a lot of research of employees and employers to uncover the real reasons behind why employees are unproductive, how time is spent being unproductive at work, and what the real effects of unproductivity are on business performance.
With that in mind, how much could unproductivity in the workplace be costing your business?
Unproductivity: Bad for the Bottom Line
A recent study by Totaljobs revealed some alarming data about just how much time is lost in the workplace due to unproductivity. The study, conducted in the U.K., questioned more than 1,000 workers and 250 employers about their workplace habits and assumptions about employee productivity.
According to the study, workers spend on average nearly 90 minutes of the working day being unproductive. It may sound minimal, but this 90 minutes of unproductive time amounts to an average loss of £4,467 per employee every year.
When you add all that up, the total cost of unproductivity costs British businesses a whopping £143 billion yearly! That’s a lot of time and money wasted.
If you think those numbers are bad, it gets worse: one in 10 employees admitted to being unproductive for over four hours each day! Just think, the cost of only 50% output from your workforce would be insurmountable.
What is even more telling about the productivity crisis is that 99% of bosses reported that they believe their workforce is productive most of the time, whereas only 24% of employees claim to be consistently productive at work. That’s a fairly stark contrast that really highlights the problem at hand.
Above all, it shows that management alone isn’t an effective way to drive productivity.
What’s Distracting Employees from Their Work?
Workers reported that what primarily drives unproductivity at work are feelings of being distracted, overwhelmed, or bored. Common culprits behind these feelings include: coffee/tea breaks, talking colleagues, boredom, excessive meetings, and excessive emails - all of which routinely distract employees from their workflow.
While some of these distractions can be solved by gravitating towards remote and hybrid working models, other distractions may actually increase, and new ones may arise altogether. Despite the leading narrative, many reports claim that employees working from home are actually more productive. But even so, new distractions are expected to arise in any environment.
The switch to remote and hybrid working models poses new challenges for employers when it comes to managing productivity -- primarily, a lack of visibility. This lack of visibility and need for increased communication when managing remote teams can lead to the above-mentioned excessive meetings and emails, which can exhaust and slow down employees working from home.
As COVID has fractured our traditional working models, many organizations are scrambling to adapt while ensuring productivity stays high among a hybrid workforce. The good news is that employers and managers don’t have to tackle the problem of unproductivity blindly. There are tools that can help, and productivity tracking software is one of the tools.
Insightful Helps Drive Productivity in the Workplace
There are many ways in which employers can improve productivity in the workplace, like training and developing employees, matching tasks to skills, and improving communication.
Good productivity requires investment into your employees. Insightful employee efficiency software can help with this process.
The study by Totaljobs also revealed some ways that workers and employers believe they can tackle the problem of workplace unproductivity. Let’s break them down and take a look at some of these ways (and how Insightful can help):
- Shorter Workdays: One in three (33%) workers believe that shortening the working day would improve their own productivity, and 36% of employers agreed.
- Flexible Schedules: One in four (23%) workers say their bosses have already introduced flexible working options to increase productivity
Insightful employee productivity tracking software provides data on when employees clock in and out and helps you understand their workloads in between.
This productivity data reveals productivity levels, trends and patterns throughout the day. Employers can then use this data to experiment with alternative schedules. In some cases businesses can actually extend their hours while providing more convenient, staggered schedules for employees that are more accommodating to their individual needs and habits.
By understanding exactly when individual employees are most productive, Insightful provides actionable insights that can be used to custom tailor scheduling to increase productivity. Insightful allows you to offer your workforce flexibility driven by data.
- Social Media Blackout: 14% of British bosses admit they’d like to introduce ‘social media blackout hours’ to limit workplace distractions
Insightful employee monitoring solutions contain features which allow managers to label certain websites and apps as “unproductive” and prevent the use of them during working or selected hours. By understanding which tools and websites are being used unproductively, employers can avoid a blanket ban in favor of a custom-tailored policy that still allows employees some leeway when it comes to the apps and websites they use during working hours.
- Reduced Email Flow: 16% of bosses felt they needed to do more to reduce the email flow for their employees.
By monitoring employee computer use Insightful provides insights into how much time employees spend on individual applications. With these insights, employers can see exactly how much time is spent reading emails daily, and can adjust their communication strategy accordingly.
- Remote Working: 12% of workers reported that they have already been given the option to work from home.
Insightful employee productivity monitoring software allows employers to better manage their employees remotely, so they can maintain engagement, understand employee workloads and priorities, and be assured that they are spending their time productively. By making many aspects of management easier, managers can focus their attention more on coaching and mentoring their teams.
- Preventing Burnout: 11% of workers reported that employers have attempted to increase productivity by not expecting them to be at work longer than their paid hours.
Insightful can help employers ensure that their workforce isn’t in danger of burnout by balancing workloads and managing time and attendance. With this data in hand, company leaders can make sure employees are taking breaks and maintaining work life balance in order to support their mental and physical health. By preventing overworking and decreasing the risk of burnout, employees will be able to work more productively.
Employee efficiency software is an essential analytics tool when it comes to productivity management. Don’t let unproductivity tank your business. Invest in your workforce with Insightful.