No business is 100% productive throughout the workday, every day. This is why most businesses are looking for ways to reduce the waste of time and money in unproductive activities. This is a great way to cut costs and raise profit margin.
Some of the activities that unnecessarily cost time and money in an organization are the daily tasks that employees indulge in. Often the most frivolous-seeming tasks turn out to be the biggest problems in this area.
Let us look at some tasks that employees indulge in every day, which hurt the bottom line of the business
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It is often observed in many companies with large teams and several departments, that a lot of time is wasted in meetings. In fact, most workers consider meetings to be the biggest time waster at work.
Of course, it is necessary for the team to be on the same page and you need to get regular updates on the operations in each project. However, you should take care that meetings don’t get drawn out because they steal valuable time and interrupt the core business of the company.
To spend the least possible time in successful meetings is to plan ahead of time. For instance, for a quick update, a stand-up meeting for a maximum of 10 minutes is sufficient. For a longer one, you need to set an agenda. It is also important to stick to the topic and avoid veering off course.
02. Outdated Processes
According to a survey, 42% companies report that inefficient and outdated processes and systems cause a decline in employee productivity. This is especially true of manual and paper-based processes, which cannot keep pace with a digital world.
Of course, Business Process Automation can be expensive, but you will spend more money with outdated processes otherwise. As per some surveys, Frito-Lay saved between 30,000 to 50,000 work hours per year, while Cisco Systems saved $270 annually in operating expenses.
Any company, whether small or large can reap the substantial benefits of Business Process Automation.
The most common mindset of a micromanager is to try and ensure that every detail of the organization is handled just so. It is necessary to understand that you chose the members of your organization for a reason, and every individual brings with him or her unique skills and expertise which should be given free reign.
As per a study, people who feel that they are being monitored constantly perform at a lower level. While you need to keep a finger on the pulse of your organization, you also need to trust your team to do their jobs.
Avoid wasting time in double checking work, and keeping a constant watch on your employees. Even if someone does something differently, it does not mean that it is wrong.
04. Excessive Email
Automatic notifications telling you when an email has arrived one of the major time wasters in any organization. This is because you may be completely focused on the task at hand when such a notification interrupts you and compels you to check your email.
It is a good idea to turn off the automatic email updates to stay focused. Some people make it a rule for themselves that they will check their email only 2-3 times a day. It is also advisable to invest in a team collaboration and communication tool which you can easily find online for the purpose of internal communication instead of emails.
05. Face to Face Communication
43% of workers say face to face communication with their coworkers causes them to miss their work the most. Of course, no one wants to spend the entire workday in silence, but most humans are not true masters of multi-tasking.
Trivial interruptions at work like a co-worker who wants to chat or someone stopping by your desk to get feedback that could easily wait till you finish work is major time stealers.
06. Overloading on Administrative Work
Administrative tasks like recording transactions, scheduling, tax reporting, and filing are the tasks which consume the maximum time. It may seem that you are saving money by handling these tasks by yourself, the time you spend on it is taken away from your core activities apart from overwhelming yourself.
One way to handle such tasks is to outsource them, while there are also several time-saving tools and software that can speed up these tasks. These tools are used to schedule the payment to your employees, and they can help your business run smoother.
07. Irrelevant Data
With a large number of analytical tools available, companies can easily track real-time data in almost every area of operation. However, all this information is not useful most of the time. Hence, avoid spending on big data initiatives although they may seem affordable.
It is important to determine which data is important and which is not. At the same time, there is no thumb rule on which KPIs a business should monitor. It depends on factors like the nature of the industry and projects, the structure of the company, the budget and the people who use the metrics for making important decisions.
Bear in mind that collecting large amounts of data is of no use unless you have the tools to analyze and monitor it. The best KPI reports are the ones who keep the teams informed of project progress by enabling monitoring key performance indicators in real time.
08. Faulty Reports
There is a huge scope for errors in manual data entry because workers copy and paste data from one sheet to the other and merge records together. These errors will cost your business a lot of money.
As per multiple studies, close to 90% of Spreadsheet documents contain errors. If you want your business to be successful and profitable, then you cannot afford these errors. Hence it is advisable to automate this process as much as possible.
There is work-reporting software available online which can help for this purpose. They will give you a complete overview of the work done by your team with a detailed task report. At the same time, you can be assured that everyone in the company has access to the same information.
09. Lack of motivation
Most studies emphasize the fact that workers want to feel that they are doing something worthwhile because money for work alone is not enough motivation. Motivation is one of the things that pushes people into action and keeps them going. Without motivation, workers tend to procrastinate on things and sometimes take no action at all.
A team that has a purpose and feels that they are contributing to that purpose will not easily get distracted or waste time at work. When people see that their effort is contributing to the total effort, it is easier for them to rally around the cause and see their purpose.
This, in turn, enhances productivity and encourages each to put in their best effort. This is why as an employer you should spend some effort in motivating your employees in different manners like setting weekly plans, being transparent, and rewarding based on performance and feedback.
Ask your employees what their likes and dislikes are as far as their work is concerned. It is important to understand what makes your employees tick. It is also important to share the bigger picture of the company with them and specify their role in it.
If you keep all the above factors in mind, then you will have cut out most of the major time and money wasting tasks in your organization. However, each company has a different pulse and culture, and it is important for you to understand that.
If you modify these factors per the unique requirement of your organization, then definitely you will end up saving a lot of valuable time and money which can be spent on more profitable activities.