Time-wasting at work: Is it a costly problem?

time wastingAt work, there are some days which seem to drag on and on. It might be down to lethargy, a lack of things to do or because of boredom with repetitive and thankless tasks. Whatever the cause, the temptation to waste time often arises, but how is it done and are there more productive alternatives to procrastination in the workplace?

A survey about wasting time at the office was conducted by ECigaretteDirect.co.uk. It discovered that five out of six respondents (83%) had wasted time by sorting out their paperwork, while 79% owned up to having reorganised their email inboxes in order to make the time pass a little more quickly. While both can be useful to some degree, others wasted time in cheekier ways.

Dragging on

Of those office workers taking part in the survey, 76% said that they had spent longer than needed for toilet breaks, 57% claimed they had spent time getting large rounds of tea or coffee for their colleagues while 18% said that they had taken extra cigarette breaks. All this shows that time is being wasted in a manner of ways, much of it being very precious to employers who value good time management.

When things are a little slow, there are more effective ways of using free time in the office. They could include:

  • Spending time doing research on an upcoming project
  • Getting future tasks started and finished early
  • Rearranging non-urgent tasks to get the more boring ones out of the way in the morning
  • Asking other, busier colleagues if they need help

Small business owners who understand the importance of time management will do everything they can to ensure that not a single second is wasted. James Caan, for example, said that time is one of any business’s most valuable assets. He suggests a little self-discipline may be in order, while ensuring that meetings are only held when actually needed can also help to save time.

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