‘Time wasting’ tasks waste 400 million days a year of employee’s time

New research has revealed that 441,827,088 days a year are spent by UK employees on unnecessary tasks.

The ‘Productivity in the Workplace’ report, which was commissioned by Red Letter Days For Business, surveyed 2,040 UK employees to find out what affects productivity levels in the workplace.

60% of UK employees said they spend half a day every week to manage these unnecessary tasks.

The tasks deemed to take up the most time by respondents include responding to emails, pointless meetings and tedious and unnecessary admin.

Of those who said they waste time on meetings, the average UK employee spends an average of six hours a weeks in meetings.

45% of employees struggling to keep up with emails receive so many emails that they work outside of their contracted hours to respond. 40% of employees receive between 26 and 75 emails a day.

How to stop wasting time at work

If you find yourself bogged down by inane and tedious tasks at work, there are a few ways you can manage your time and instead focus on what’s important.

Allocate email time

For those struggling to manage a barrage of incoming emails on a daily basis, focus your most productive time on the biggest task you have coming up for the day.

This will require some organisation beforehand so you know what you’ve got coming up for the week ahead. Often, the most productive times of the day are first thing in the morning and straight after lunch.

Take advantage of these peak times for the important stuff, rather than sifting through emails. You can then allocate specific blocks when you’re feeling less productive for managing emails.

Apply for flexible working

When the same study asked employees what they thought would improve their productivity, 22% of respondents said they believed flexible working would help them with their work output.

While applying for flexible working can seem like an intimidating idea, more employers than ever are embracing it as a practical way for employees to work.

Broach the subject with your boss in an inquisitive (rather than demanding) manner. Their response may surprise you!

Speak to your boss

If you find the tasks building up are wasting too much of your time, or if you have ideas on how they could be handled better, speak to your boss.

The majority of employers will be open to employee suggestions and listening to your ideas for improving their company.

James Kelly, director at Red Letter Days For Business, said: “It seems our modern office environment has created bad habits. Technology, such as emails, should be speeding up processes not slowing them down.

“Something is going very wrong here. Businesses’ need to work together to retrain on areas like email etiquette in the workplace and to encourage better collaboration and efficiencies.”

Kelly went on to call on businesses to manage these time wasting tasks: “Businesses need to be aware of the smaller time wasting office tasks that could be having a bigger impact than they think on output levels. Yes each business is bound to have larger issues to tackle, however, the good news is the smaller time wasting issues can easily and quickly be solved, with little, if any, investment. The positive impact of the changes could also be huge”.

Do you find yourself wasting time at work on unnecessary tasks? What are your tips and tricks for staying productive throughout the day? Leave your advice in the comment section below!

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