Most employees don’t leave work at the door anymore. It follows them home like eager puppies yearning for more attention; one more email, one more calendar invite, one more Slack message before putting the mobile to rest. A whopping 80% of employees work after hours, following up on emails and ensuring items are handled for the days to come. The price of increased connectivity however, is that employee burnout is on the rise—and it impacts more than just your employee’s physical, psychological and emotional health. It’s costing business a bundle, too.
According to Workplace Psychology, as many as one million people per day miss work because of stress, which translates into a loss of anywhere from $150 billion to $300 billion annually. Naturally, jobs have periods of stress that are unavoidable, and capable employees will weather peaks and troughs of the business as best they can, but it’s important that exhaustion doesn’t arise from unnecessary or unproductive activities.
As a decision maker, as a manager, or as a HR, it’s your responsibility to lookout for employees and to steer them away from mindless tasks or unproductiveness to ensure they remain in tiptop condition for the projects that require their full attention, energy and skill.
Poor time management skills are the bane of productivity
Poor time management skills operate in such a way that we don’t have time to concentrate on key activities, or even to rest; we are in a perpetual state of juggling tasks of varying importance and in the process, failing to complete all of them. And it only gets worse. Projects pile up, lists continue to grow and employees become frustrated and stressed at their mounting workload and burnout.
The key to solving this is ensuring that your team or executives have a plan with key deadlines and responsibilities. What’s more, monitoring activities and having a map of their results through time tracking will illuminate how employees spend their time, and where potential pitfalls can be avoided. The key to solving monitoring activity and results data through time tracking, employers and employees can see how individuals spend their time, as well as assess their results.
What must be stressed here is that this is not handholding or an attempt to restrict how your employees work. No one wants to feel like they’re being coddled or inspected. It’s important to use a time-tracker not as a means for belittling them on how much time they spend on Facebook, but to see trends of laxness and work disengagement and to offer solutions. For example, if your employees check their emails throughout the day—stop it. It may feel productive, but email management is the biggest enabler of wasted time. Employees can easily get lost in the notion that answering and responding to emails is classified as important work, and will opt to spend time answering them instead of knuckling down to tackle harder, more prominent tasks.
Take preventative measures – ensure your employees have the tools they need to proactively relegate time for emails, meetings and other core tasks that, while necessary, still relegate time away from heavier projects.
If you’re struggling to pick of lapses in productivity, get yourself a HR management software that will give you an overview of how your employee’s time is spent. It will help you pick out snares and other time sinks you and your team might not be aware of.
Keep morale high
Company culture isn’t just about the bean bag chairs, foosball table and brightly coloured designs—it’s about how you treat and value your employees, too. Build a culture that recognizes their effort and rewards them for time spent. After gruelling quarters and a string of late nights, arrange a team outing, or stress relief day. Employees will appreciate you taking time out of their working schedule to celebrate with them.