The average worker spends 51% of every workday on low to no-value tasks. If this isn’t a strong case for better time management at work, I don’t know what is.
But spending just 10-12 minutes planning their day could save them up to two hours of their time.
So, what can HR teams do to support better time management at work and improve employees’ stress levels as a result?
Create a system
I’ve recently been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. In it, he talks at length about systems. Goals are great, but you need to break down how to achieve them—and when you’re going to do them.
He explains that an effective habit has four elements: cue, craving, response, and reward.
For example, say an employee wanted to check their emails less so that it didn’t disrupt their work as much. They could pick a specific time of day to open their inbox and reply to people.
The cue would be the time of day, the craving is to answer emails (like many of us have), the response is replying to them, and the reward can be whatever they like. Maybe it’s just the satisfaction of having written everyone who needs a response, inbox zero, or making a coffee.
This set time when someone checks their emails then means they have more mental energy for other tasks. They’re not constantly being interrupted by emails they don’t need to immediately reply to or that otherwise interrupt their concentration.
Implement the right tools
The right—or wrong—tool for time management at work can make or break our productivity.
If someone doesn’t understand how to use a tool, they’re never going to make the most of it. Plus, they’re going to lose a lot of time just trying to figure out how it works.
Offering training, or at least pointing employees in the direction of where to find the help they need, decreases their mental load and helps them understand it quicker.
Seemingly unrelated tools like applicant tracking software or employee engagement platforms can also create efficiencies. These tools give you more opportunities to create a great candidate experience and employee experience.
Streamline processes/minimize steps
So many businesses have old or clunky processes that don’t need to take as long as they do.
It’s therefore worth periodically reflecting to see if there’s a new software you could benefit from, if you’re better off outsourcing tasks to a freelancer, or if there’s just another way of doing something that would lead to better time management at work.
Make important information easily accessible
Sometimes documentation, advice, or guides, can be hard to find. Especially if they’re old or taken for granted.
You want to make everything an employee needs to know easy to find and easy to understand.
The more mental load someone has to exert to find and understand something, the more energy it takes up. This then increases their stress levels and makes them more likely to lose time in their day just finding what they need.
When it comes to sharing key information with employees, it can also help to provide it in multiple formats.
This ensures that regardless of how someone learns or best retains information, they can get the answers they need.
One way you can make this easier for yourself is to record a video demoing how to use a software. Then, extract that audio to turn it into a clip, and use a dictation software (or even just Microsoft Word’s dictation feature) to turn it into a written guide.
Catering to different learning styles is a frequently overlooked way to improve time management at work.
When we’re interrupted in the middle of a task it can take up to 20 minutes to get focused again. That’s a whole lot of time wasted and a whole lot of work that gets delayed.
It’s surprising how tiny things can add up to disrupt us and distract from what we’re trying to do.
Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to stare out of the window or play with a pet, but unexpected disruptions can and do make a difference to someone’s concentration and mental health.
Consider ways you can minimize the distractions employees experience to improve time management at work.
If they’re in an office, could you put up barriers to separate people’s desks? That way, they can’t see their colleagues and get distracted by what they’re doing.
Or, if your office has particularly bright lights and you know that you have neurodivergent employees, is there a way that you can reduce the harsh lights so that it doesn’t impact their sensory issues?
For employees who work from home, could you get them noise-cancelling headphones? How about a new desk setup?
If their home environment is particularly distracting, what about a budget to work in a coffee shop or coworking space?
Give them somewhere to share ideas
Some people absolutely love exploring productivity, mindset, and time management at work.
Creating somewhere they can share things they’ve learned, or ask for advice from other people, is a really great way to show your employees that you do care and you want them to perform at their best.
One of the ways you can do this is through employee groups, programs, and events.
Employees can learn new things through these initiatives, then share them with their other colleagues. This means more people can benefit from the time management at work tips even if they’re not actively participating themselves.
These are just some of the ways that HR teams can support better time management at work.
The more effectively you can help employees perform their jobs, the more productive and happier they’ll be in their roles.
This means they’re more likely to feel valued and stick around for longer.
All this reduces your hiring costs, and how long you spend training new employees. Perhaps more importantly, it also creates a happier working environment for every team member.
If you’re looking for tools to support your efforts to improve time management at work, you’ve come to the right place. Workrowd makes it easy for everyone to quickly find what they’re looking for, saving them time and energy.
Our user-friendly tools reduce admin work by automating tedious processes, and real-time analytics ensure you always know what’s driving results. Want to learn more and optimize your employee experience? Visit us online or send us a note at email@example.com.