Nab The Time Thieves Stealing Your Company’s Productivity

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Your employees are present at least eight hours a day, five days a week. But unless they are droids, they aren’t going to be glued to their work for every accountable minute of their shift. Human beings can’t be expected to be at 100 per cent of our mental and physical capabilities all the time or we’d burn out.

While an inevitable amount of downtime is acceptable in the workplace, sometimes inefficiencies occur that lead to a troubling amount of preventable lost productivity. A CPHR can help you find your productivity gaps and develop solutions to keep your business financially fit.

Take a look at some of these time stealers and discuss this matter with a CPHR to see where some of your company’s productivity may be going:


How much time do your people spend in meetings every year? While some catch-up sessions are necessary for reporting and communication, we’ve all been clock-watchers stuck in meaningless, aimless meetings. Even a weekly one-hour meeting can take its toll on how much people get done in a day when you take preparation and follow-up time into account.

Rule of thumb: keep it short and sweet. Meetings should be concise and to the point, inviting attendees on a need-to-know basis.


Fixing computer crashes, viruses, printer jams and other daily breakdowns are time consuming. Even downloading applications and updates can throw a wrench into the day. While these are mostly unavoidable barriers to productivity, evaluating technology needs on a regular basis ensures that employees are using equipment and software that is up to date. You may also want to research and invest in programs designed for efficiency, such as software applications that show all the information an employee needs on one central dashboard screen.

Administrative Tasks

In today’s digital age, we are bombarded by emails, texts and instant messaging on a constant basis. Replying to messages can become a full-time job for some people. One suggestion is for workers to only check messages three times a day so that it doesn’t get in the way of completing longer tasks. While replying promptly to emails is important and part of the promise of good customer service, it only hurts the company in the long run if it impedes productivity.

Some productivity experts recommend the two-minute rule of time management. If a task (such as replying to messages) takes less than two minutes to do – do it immediately. If it takes longer than two minutes, add it to your daily to-do list and get to it later in your day.

Social Media

Across all demographics, the majority of your workforce use social media and will regularly check into their online profiles for the latest updates. It’s been reported that within the first hour of work, employees can easily spend 20 minutes or more on social media – and that quickly adds up to billions of dollars in lost productivity worldwide every year.

If you believe some employees are abusing their time online, talk to your CPHR about ways to better manage social media at work. But remember, allowing some social media time alleviates worker stress and improves their overall job satisfaction.

Health Matters

Health issues, including chronic illness, are a massive drain on productivity. This is why creating a corporate culture where good health and wellness choices are promoted is good for the bottom line. It is said that employees in poor health take more time away from work or show up sick more often than employees who have healthier lifestyles.

A CPHR can source out ideas for supporting a healthier and more productive workplace, including instituting incentive programs (such as subsidized gym passes), providing more nutritious snack options, participating in group activities such as charity runs, and welcoming employees’ ideas for ways to increase mental capacity and improve energy levels throughout the day.

The Stress Factor

Employees cannot help but bring some problems at home into the workplace, yet that only accounts for 40 per cent of why they are feeling stressed. According to Statistics Canada, 60 per cent of workers report that work itself is the main source of their stress.

There are a few things managers can do to keep highly-stressed employees on track, including discussing workloads and being flexible to making adjustments to accommodate a healthier work-life balance. Most importantly, open the discussion on how to cope with stress and give employees a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss what may be blocking them from getting work done.


The largest portion of lost productivity is due to employee dissatisfaction. One U.S. estimate says that workers who do not feel engaged cost companies more than $550 billion in revenue every year.

When employees do not feel like their contributions matter, that their ideas are not heard or that they are not able to make a difference in the company they work for, they mentally check out of their jobs. Not only are they likely to be absent more often, their declining attitude can negatively impact their coworkers or worse, drive customers away.

Fortunately, this is a preventable scenario. A CPHR can guide you toward having a more engaged workforce by recruiting enthusiastic hires, training managers for active and accountable engagement, creating a culture of collaboration and innovation, and ensuring that employees feel a connection to their workplace through caring and compassionate relationships with co-workers and managers.

Discover more effective strategies for increasing productivity in your workplace that will maximize profitability and employee engagement. Hire a CPHR.