How do you ensure your employees aren’t stealing your time? Inefficiency at work through wasted hours is one of the biggest managerial challenges of the 21st century.
There are endless workplace distractions.
Unless you get on top of the situation, you will get a raw deal from employees.
If you are dealing with remote employees, you are in even greater danger of suffering from the effects of low employee productivity.
There are a number of ways to deal with this situation, but first, let us take a closer look at how employees waste time – your time – at work.
How Employees Waste Time At Work
Salary.com recently carried out survey on how people waste time at work. According to their 2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey;
- 31% waste roughly 30 minutes daily
- 31% waste roughly 1 hour daily
- 16% waste roughly 2 hours daily
- 6% waste roughly 3 hours daily
- 2% waste roughly 4 hours daily
- 2% waste 5 or more hours daily
In essence, 4% of the people surveyed waste half a day on non-work related tasks. The report goes on to specify how employees waste time. The following are the biggest time wasters in the order in which they were reported in the survey.
Twenty four percent of respondents in the 2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey by Salary.com quoted Google as being their biggest time waster. While many Google searches are work related, a large number aren’t doing anything work related when they fire up Google, they search for stuff that interests them.
It isn’t easy to deal with time wasting on Google because unlike other websites, you can’t restrict access without seriously inhibiting the majority of most people from effectively performing their duties. Many job positions require access to Google to search for work related information.
Thus, employers have resorted to tracking work outcomes rather than restricting access to Google. This has worked with some measure of success for some employers.
Naturally, the biggest productivity zapper in the social media category was Facebook. 23% of survey respondents in the Salary.com reported wasting more time on Facebook than anything else. LinkedIn was third with 14%, then Yahoo (7%), Amazon (2%), YouTube (2%), ESPN (2%), and Pinterest, Twitter, and Craigslist each with 1% of respondents.
Companies have resorted to the social media craze by blocking social media sites during working hours. However, in this day and age of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), tech-savvy employees are bringing their own devices and data plans to work.
As for remote workers, keeping them off Facebook is a tall order. How do you tell if your remote worker is logging or invoicing hours actually worked.
Another big time waster is email. A 2012 study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, found that “knowledge” employees “spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails.” This represents 30% of an eight hour work day. Knowledge employees are defined as, “managers, salespeople, scientists, and others whose jobs consist primarily of interactions—with other employees, customers, and suppliers—and complex decision making based on knowledge and judgement.”
The problem with email is that senders expect an immediate response. Thus, someone who naturally receives a lot of email can end up doing nothing but respond to email the whole day.
Companies have tried to restrict the use of email to communicate with varied levels of success.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have to attend meetings where your presence is unnecessary?
Sometimes companies, especially large one’s, tend to make blanket rules without stopping to consider whether the rules make sense. Also, a rule may have been sensible when it was originally established but becomes redundant after a while. This is why it is important to audit work manuals and procedures of work on a regular basis to ensure that time isn’t being lost by requiring employees to engage in unnecessary, almost ritualistic, behavior.
In too many cases, meetings are called when issues on the agenda can be summed up in one line of email or quick telephone call. A periodic status report is sufficient to keep management up-to-date without needing to waste thousands of hours every year.
How To Monitor Employees Without Being Intrusive
People guard their privacy jealously. In fact, after the Snowden revelations, people are now more vigilant than ever. Thus, while it is your right as an employer to get value for your money, installing spyware on company computers, as some companies have done, will get you nothing but bad press.
So, how do you monitor employees without being intrusive?
The answer lies in an employee monitoring software.
But, isn’t it the same as spyware?
The difference between employee monitoring software and spyware is that the worker knows that the program is installed on their machine. In fact, the worker has to launch the program in order to log the hours worked.
This way, if the employee chooses to do other things that do not fall within the scope of work, then they have to deal with the consequences of less pay or in extreme situations, termination.
Read some of the top myths about time tracking.
Hubstaff Employee Monitoring Software
Hubstaff is a time tracking application that helps you monitor what your employees are doing. It runs as a desktop application and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Over 3,000 remote teams have signed up with Hubstaff. The following are some of the features in more detail.
Screenshots and Activity Levels
For an employer, this is undoubtedly one of the main advantages of Hubstaff’s time tracking especially if you are dealing with remote workers.
Hubstaff’s useful software for employee monitoring allows you to manage an unlimited number of projects. Create projects and then invite workers to projects where they begin logging time. The employee must download the application to their computer and turn it on. Once this is done, the Hubstaff client takes screen shots at set intervals and uploads them to our server. All the employer does is log into the workroom and see what is displayed on the screen shots. If a worker spent the whole day on Facebook doing non-work related stuff, it becomes clearly evident and you can repudiate an invoice based on this alone.
The application also shows activity levels so that you can spot ineffective workers quickly.
Timesheets, Reports & Payments
With Hubstaff, you can automatically create and view timesheets as your employees track time to projects. You can also filter-driven and real-time reports to allow you to slice data by project, person, or date. And, you can easily pay your team based on any date range you want as well as view paid and unpaid time.
Free for 14 days
Hubstaff is completely free for 14 days. There is no obligation whatsoever on you and no credit card is required. To get a full-featured trial, invite as many people as you can. Annual plans get two months free.
Integrate with Other Applications
Hubstaff integrates with many project management solutions so you can see exactly what your team is working on and how much time they spend on each task. If there is a service you want integrated and it isn’t on our list, just tell us about it and we will see what we can do for you.
The following are some of the project management applications that currently integrate with Hubstaff:
- Pivotal Tracker
- Teamwork PM
Hubstaff also integrates with the following payments, accounting and invoicing processors:
To learn more about Hubstaff’s time tracking features kindly watch the video below.
With Hubstaff you can track time, take screenshots, monitor activity levels, export reports and create invoices.
14 Day Free Trial!