It’s not enough to just hire people – as HR it’s your duty to keep them motivated, productive and an asset to the company. That means you need to be aware of how an average employee spends their workday, specifically habits that decrease productivity and generally waste time. We’ve compiled some of the usual suspects for you right here, with suggestions on how to circumvent them:

Chit Chat

Numero uno in ways to kill time: talking to colleagues. Whether it be by the water cooler, at your desk or even in the loo, those quick 5 minute chats that employees have usually end up being 15 minutes long, repeated several times a day. It’s the leading cause of time wastage in the office and has an easy fix: Team IM tools.

This isn’t an ideal solution but the introduction of office/team specific chat clients (Slack, Skype, Hangouts) help reduce the time employees spend away from their desks to chat with their co-workers. The downside is that they’ll still be chatting, albeit for a lesser amount of time.

Social Media

The bane of many people’s existence (a declaration they will un-ironically proclaim over social media), the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more are bound to elicit a collective groan from managers and CEOs worldwide.

Honestly, there’s no getting away from social media at this point. It’s as much a part of our lives as is breathing and eating. The only way to go forward is to block access to these networks on the work internet, a difficult proposition if your job involves social media interaction. Instead, fostering a positive attitude towards social media, integrating it in your workflow can help keep productivity from tanking completely.

(Long) Lunch Breaks

Do your employees regularly take two, even three hour lunches? Unless they’re spending that time to feed the hungry and clothe the destitute, there really is no justification for such behaviour and you need to shut it down.

Not only are these breaks killing the productivity of the people taking them, they also affect their coworkers in a more immediate way: People collaborating with these individuals are forced to put off their own work as well, resulting in the whole office eventually grinding to a halt.

A great way to alleviate this problem is to figure out a sustainable way to get food delivered to employees in the office – a costly proposition but if executed correctly, can really help move things along!

Doing Absolutely Nothing

Disclaimer: Procrastination and doing absolutely nothing are not one and the same. There’s a fine line, but one ensures a burst of productivity and the other results in wasted hours – a great way that companies ensure employees are procrastinating and not wasting time is to encourage hobbies and activities in the office. Ping pong, foosball and a small nap corner all contribute to helping people toe the line correctly.

Procrastination, used sparingly and at the right times helps ensure that employees are working with their brains souped up. But it’s a slippery slope, one that leads all too quickly into the pit of absolutely nothing and it’s up to you to ensure that your teams are running like the smooth, well-oiled machines the CEOs want them to be.


It may seem daunting, but studies show that 1 in 4 businesses that help their employees be more productive via the tips mentioned above, end up developing better office cultures AND boosting their outputs at the same time, so what are you waiting for?

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