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How to Stop Employees from Wasting Time?

Last updated: January 10, 2017

More than 60% workers admit to wasting at least one hour of work time every day. There are many reasons for this and some waste of time is caused by the very tools that assist them in their daily work.

Then again, an employee may be working on an assigned task actively, but time can get wasted due to a setup that is less than desirable. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce waste of time, which can range from keeping your employees focused on the task at hand to eliminating time wasting tasks.

Few Ideas to Make Employees More Efficient

Keep meetings short

Usually, most meetings are twice as long as they need to be, which causes most of the attendees to lose focus on the topics at hand. Hence, it is necessary to make your meetings more practical in length and should include only the people that need to be there.

Spend a moment on thinking about the necessary team meetings and the people who attend them.

If you feel that someone does not gain any useful information to help him fulfill his role, then he should not be there. Also, shortening the length of meetings will minimize the waste of time and help in boosting productivity.

Invest in proper tools

The tools and software that you provide your employees can either help them speed up or hinder their performance drastically. For instance, if you are using a point of sale (PoS) machine that is long outdated, then your employees handling this area will end up wasting a lot of time doing much of the work manually.

On the other hand, there are many modern setups which are designed particularly to be user-friendly and yet are powerful in their functioning. Check out tools like Flock – a team communication tool, Vtiger – a project management and inbuilt support tool, Streak for Gmail – a mail tracker and CRM pipeline tracking within the Gmail interface.

There are endless tools. Research and decide according to the needs of the employees.

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Have notification free times

Usually, most office employees spend a lot of time – about 28% of their work day – reading and responding to emails. Although emails are necessary for effective communication, being constantly plugged into them can waste a lot of your valuable time.

To help overcome this problem you can designate some periods during the day which should be notification free. During this time everyone should close their mailbox and turn off the automated email notifications. This will help them pay better attention to the work that they are doing

Change your schedule parameters

Everyone has the habit of procrastination to some extent, and most people wait till noon to start a job which needs to be completed today and can be done in four hours. Deadlines are the best way to motivate people, and if you give them extra time, they will simply waste it.

To eliminate this problem, it is advisable to change your schedule parameters to encourage speed and accuracy in work. For instance, if you allow people to go home earlier if they finish their work early, this alone could get your work done much faster.

Incorporate several short breaks into the workday

As per some surveys, most workers can only concentrate for one hour or less at a time. Hence, it is a good idea to provide a five-minute break every hour to help reduce time wasted due to inability to concentrate on the part of the employees. This will help them to stay more on their job for the rest of the day.

Install a social media blocker

Most workers waste a lot of time on social media while they are in office. If you install a social media blocker, it will compel them to concentrate more on their tasks. However, keeping the blocker on will only encourage them to turn to their smartphones or laptops for their social media fix.

Hence, you can stipulate certain times like scheduled breaks when the blocker will remain off. This will give your employees some flexibility, but will also get the message across that they need to be spending their workday in work and not on social media.

Create a training culture

Surveys show that almost 40 percent employers do not give due importance to training. This is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make, particularly if you want to reduce the time that your employees waste during the workday.

If your staff doesn’t have the necessary training to deal with their daily tasks, then they will have to learn it by trial and error which will end up in a lot of wasted time. The other effect of this is that the employee’s job satisfaction level will drop drastically.

Due to this, even the efficient workers will suffer, and their job satisfaction level will also plummet, and they will tend to attrite. This will lead to your company losing more time and other resources in finding replacements for them.

Provide solid instructions for each task

Most people want to excel at their work, but this becomes difficult if they are not given proper instructions.

In fact, if you spend a few minutes giving a thorough overview on how the employee should attempt and complete a task, it will save you a considerable amount of time in the long run. Bear in mind that each has different requirements as far as instructions are concerned.

Offer bonus and rewards for completed goals and timely completion of tasks

Only salary is not a sufficient motivation, and small bonuses tied with realistic goals can provide the extra motivation for workers to excel at their tasks. As per one study by Harvard Business School, it was found that quarterly bonuses are more effective than annual bonuses.


Time is money, and if you prevent your employees from wasting it, their productivity will increase. This, in turn, will save your company a lot of money. However, preventing waste of time in your organization requires some study and some effort.

There are many methods other than the ones mentioned above if you are on a time-saving spree in your company. You can research these methods online and adopt the one that is suitable for your organization’s specific requirements.

How to Stop Employees from Wasting Time?
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