Why Time Wasting is Killing Your Company
One of the oldest business adages is “time is money.” It has been repeated often enough that it seems to be a quaint cliché. However, there is a funny thing about clichés. There is usually a basis for truth in them. Time wasting takes many forms. Here are some of the more common forms of time wasting in the workplace:
- Unclear or unstated project deadlines
- Faulty communication/lack of communication
- Poor planning that lead to unbalanced work schedules
This article will discuss some of the many ways that time wasting is negatively impacting the workplace, along with some of the methods of prevention.
A basic way that time wasting negatively impacts companies is reduced productivity. If something or someone can distract workers from getting their work done efficiently, effectively, and in a timely fashion, it causes a ripple effect. One person’s inefficiency will trickle down throughout an organisation. More than one person being inefficient at the same time can lead to a total departmental or divisional breakdown that could cause an entire company to falter.
Whether it is a scheduled deliverable that goes out to a client late, an internal deadline that is adjusted, or a meeting that was missed because of a scheduling error, any type of delay is the bane of successful business. Delays not only stymie productivity, but they create confusion and stress.
Missed deadlines can be a result of some type of reduced productivity, delays, and employee/employer incompetence. When deadlines are missed, the entire company suffers because its reputation for effectiveness and accuracy have been damaged. If missed deadlines continue to occur, a company’s reputation can suffer permanent damage and lose customers.
All the above listed time wasting consequences may have the worst effect of all, which is to alienate your company’s customers. Customers can be loyal, sometimes even to their own detriment. But no matter how loyal customer are, they all have their breaking points. They can reach a juncture where they are tired of not receiving what they are paying for or not receiving it in a timely fashion.
When customers reach a level of dissatisfaction, they may leave and never return. The best-case scenario for dealing with dissatisfied customers is to contact them and make amends as quickly and completely as possible.
Now that we have discussed some of the ways that time is wasted in business and their consequences that result from them, let’s look at some ways that time wasting can be reduced or eliminated.
The understanding between business and clients and between employer and employees can always be improved. Regular communication is a great beginning. Casual, informal outings and face to face chats promote open, honest discussion – the kind that benefits everyone. Clients get a chance to air their grievances and concerns. Employees have a chance to express their frustrations. These kinds of gathering are not always pleasant, but they can be extremely beneficial.
Keep in mind that face to face conversation is the goal. Under no circumstances should the following communication vehicles be used in place of in-person discussions:
- Conference calls
- Employee/Client Surveys
- Employee Gatherings and Outings (Sometimes, companies attempt to placate employees by throwing a party. That’s a great idea as a teambuilding strategy or a reward for a job well done. However, it is not acceptable as a mean to placate or distract employees and employers from facing hard truths)
Project Planning Software
Another method of improving time management is using project planning software. Scheduling and planning can be black holes of time and effort. A proven and effective way of correcting this problem is using time management tools. Using such planning tools will help your company to plan, strategise and execute projects more successfully.
Improved time management may not solve all your problems, but it will reduce them by identifying and removing logjams, and help your company simplify and strategise its path forward.
Whether it is working toward improved communications or using project planning software, time management is a goal that benefits everyone. On-time deliverables lead to happy and returning customers, which leads to steady sales and a bright future. Why would you want to miss out on that?