Businesses need to monitor the performance of their employees. After all, the average employee now slacks off for about five hours every week, while on the clock. More time gets wasted because employees often lack the tools, knowledge, skills, or directions needed to do their jobs. Fortunately, employers can take some simple measures to drastically reduce the wasted time in their organizations and thereby cut costs and increase productivity while also ensuring that they do the best they can at work and avoid wasting too much time.

Tame meetings

Typical meetings can take more than twice as long as necessary. As managers and supervisors ramble, attendees lose their focus. In the end, meetings can cause more harm than good and leave employees without the information the meeting was meant to convey. Before calling meetings, managers, and supervisors should consider their necessity. Similarly, they should only invite employees to attend that have relevance to the topics at hand.

Equip employees

Employees often must deal with obsolete software and equipment that makes their tasks difficult to complete. Such conditions can cause negative sentiment that leads to resistance and sluggish performance. Managers should encourage feedback from their teams and then use that information to make sure everyone has the tools needed for their job.

Throttle notifications

Employees spend much of their time responding to voicemail, social media, email messages, and other communications. Generally speaking, they may tend to respond immediately to every notification they receive, causing expensive disruptions in their work. Companies should contain this type of time wasting tasks by requiring notification-free periods where everyone closes their inboxes and silences other notification alerts in order to focus on the work that actually needs to get done.

Leverage deadlines

Many people wait until the “last minute” to complete essential tasks. So, if they have only one absolute task to finish, they may do nothing else that day. Companies can use deadlines combined with scheduling incentives to motivate their staff to get all their work done promptly. For example, employers can reward good performance with extra paid time off or simply make sure managers recognize employees who are best utilizing their time and working ahead.

Encourage breaks

Workers who stay at their desks all day can tend to produce less because they can only focus on a task for so long. For this reason, employers should encourage their staff to take all their breaks. These breaks give them a chances to relax for a while and then, afterward, take a fresh look at their work.

In summary, businesses can do a lot to keep their employees from wasting their time. By using the above tips as starting points, business owners, managers, and supervisors can increase the returns they get from their employees.