How to be the master of time. Not its victim.

The staff in your business may work hard, but you might be surprised at the amount of time the average office worker wastes. A survey by Office Angels has found that UK offices lose 72 million hours every week, totalling £6.85 billion a year, enough to build nine Wembley Stadiums each year! In our next webinar we’ll be giving you lots of easy tips and techniques that can easily be used to maximise on your time and increase your productivity.

Here are some of the top office time-wasters that the survey found affected our time. We’ve added some tips to combating them.

1.    Over a third of office workers(36%) estimate they spend over five hours a week procrastinating instead of working – including, browsing online, daydreaming and making coffee for their colleagues


Time Tip: Do your worst task at the start of the day. It gets it out of the way and stops you stressing over it. Also break long tasks into smaller segments – breaking your day-long project into 6 one-hour segments will ensure you know how you’re doing at the end of every hour.


2.    Nearly two thirds (59%) spend at least 30 minutes each week dealing with computer meltdowns and re-boots


Time Tip: Ensure you have ‘back burner tasks’ listed in your diary. These are tasks that can wait but need to be done eventually. This is a great list in using up time that is wasted by other issues. 


3.    A sociable 13% admit to spending at least two hours a week gossiping to colleagues


Time Tip: 10 minutes wasted a day equals 38 hours a year. So these people spend 2 working weeks a year gossiping. Alternatively, you can plan your day so that you know what’s a priority. Ask yourself when reviewing your tasks, ‘what’s the most important use of my time right now’. This will help you to keep on track with your most important tasks.


4.    One in 10 (13%) lose 20 minutes a week on what they describe as pointless meetings. In fact, the average senior manager spends 17 hours per week in meetings, plus 6 hours a week getting ready for them, and even more hours recovering!


Time Tip: Always ensure your meetings have an agreed START and FINISH time. Cost out your meetings to ensure that they are worth having.


5.    More than one in 10 (15%) waste an average of an hour a week dealing with indecisive colleagues/clients


Time Tip: Ensure you have clear and agreed priorities between you and your boss, colleagues and clients that are reviewed daily or weekly. Ensure you have your key tasks and objectives written as tasks in your diary or Outlook calendar so that you can update them when you speak to them and always set follow up dates.


Time is money, and whilst it’s natural that a small amount may be wasted each week, this research demonstrates that we need consider how it all adds up. By being conscious of how we spend our time, we can work more efficiently and productively as a team. This will of course, mean putting more back into the business but also ensuring we have a healthy work life balance by getting our work completed during the allotted working day.

However, it is important to remember that taking a few minutes here and there from work can help to reduce stress and keep workers focused. No one is capable of working all day or week without a break, and it is better to have workers waste a little time than be tired or stressed (and therefore less productive and motivated) all week!