How Remote Employees Waste Time?

How Remote Employees Waste Time

The emergence of all remote operations has seeped into organizations around the world. The majority of companies were able to find a way to stay open during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

While the companies began implementing work from home and remote working, employees had to adjust to remote working.

Remote work is beneficial, but it has some drawbacks. In the long run, employees tend to get distracted from their work and waste time on several other factors. 

However, whatever the task you’re engaged in at the moment, it’s important to come up with the highest level of productivity possible because once you’ve wasted time, it’s gone.  

It’s natural for employees to begin blaming external factors when they waste time, and they come up with a number of excuses. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to spend your time well and what you should achieve in the available time frame. 

This blog aims to explain 9 things that waste remote employees’ time at work and how to solve them.

What Factors Can Make Your Remote Employees Waste Time?

Factors That Make Your Remote Employees Waste Time

Loose Schedules

If you want to hold yourself accountable to finish your work on time, you’ll need some sort of time-based backbone. Some people work better under strict schedules, while others work better under a more flexible schedule.

It might get old and monotonous to go through the same routine every day, but at least it keeps you on track during the day.

As soon as you arrive at work, you start working, and as soon as you finish, you leave. During this portion of the day, you are rewarded for staying on task.

If you meet your deadlines, you can work from home whenever you want.  If you pile everything up, you might finish working until midnight or later. As a way to accommodate this possibility, you should stick to a schedule.

Unspecified Workspaces

There are probably dedicated remote workers in your neighborhood with dedicated workspaces, whether it’s an entire office room set up or just a desk where they can do most of their work.

The truth is that most people do not have much choice, working at the dining table or using a laptop to do chores. 

A dedicated workspace prevents your mind from wandering between your personal and professional lives, making it hard to distinguish between the two and more difficult to perform the job you need to do.

Make sure that you set up a dedicated workspace and maintain consistency with it, even if it’s just a corner of the room.

Personal Responsibilities and Household Chores

When one is staying at home and working, the household chores might become their biggest obstacle.

It is an advantage that you can pick up your kids from school or get groceries during the day while doing remote work, without having to worry about getting in the way of your work.

Generally speaking, this can be advantageous; however, it can also take your focus away from your work responsibilities. 

Therefore, what you can do is you can make a determination. While you work, just focus until you complete your task. If you have to take breaks, make sure you do not spend too long.

You can set alarms or use time tracking software to keep yourself time-oriented. Whenever possible, separate the tasks you need to do with chores and errands from the tasks you need to complete at work, and if possible, complete them at different times during the day.

Communication Barrier

Communicating effectively is crucial to launching a coordinated effort. Whether you call, email, instant message, text, or video chat is no issue, but which form of communication is best for this situation? Would a video conference be appropriate? Which is the best option? 

What other points do you need to communicate? Are you communicating on all of them? How quickly are you communicating? How long do you normally chat? In order to maximize your success chances, you should watch out for several inefficiency points.

Simple communication will get the job done, no matter how mundane. Video conferences still can’t replace face-to-face interaction, regardless of how updated the technology is.

Furthermore, when the amount of time you spend communicating with your employees significantly decreases, it is therefore difficult to go above and beyond to motivate them.

Distracting Websites

It’s true that a distracting website is a problem for office workers as well as remote workers, but since nobody is watching you from home, it’s more of a concern when working remotely. 

A plugin such as Freedom, which lets you block specific sites from yourself while you browse the internet, can help you deal with distractions. 

For those of you who wish to be completely disconnected from the distractions that live on the internet, you can perform dedicated “focus sessions” in order to boost your productivity for the whole period.

Technological Errors

You may experience technical difficulties when working remotely. Let’s say there is an electricity cut out in your area, or the ISP is not functioning properly, you will have difficulties.

Let’s say you have a meeting with your team at 1:00 PM sharp, but there is no internet in your area. This will obstruct you from working and also functioning properly. 

Remote employees have their own patterns of working. And technological errors hinder the working pattern. Prepare for these technical issues beforehand, and prepare for some alternatives.

Fear of People’s Reactions

Employees who work from home might feel they are constantly misunderstood or accused of laziness. That’s understandable because they don’t have a direct supervisor.

While you’re doing your work in line with the quality standards you’ve agreed to, no one should have much concern over your work. Just do your best as if you were at the office. Don’t rush just to get results quicker.

Overlong Meetings & Excessive Emails

It is true that Zoom fatigue exists, as is the resulting meeting madness. Problem-solving agendas can make meetings more productive.

By showing employees that their presence is not expected at unnecessary or overlong meetings, management encourages remote teams to concentrate on meaningful tasks. Therefore, employees can dedicate more time to tasks that have been piling up and aren’t completely drained out. 

A worker who constantly accepts ad-hoc projects fails to set priorities. Team members want to help their colleagues, but there are times when never saying ‘no’ to requests drains energy and focus. It’s up to the supervisor to set firm limits and encourage remote employees to say ‘no’ in polite, respectful manners. 

Personal Calls & Chats

Personal messages and chats are the most common sources of employee time waste without them even realizing it.

An employee may receive a phone call, or a notification bar may pop up, showing the latest news in their area of interest or a message from a friend. 

Employees end up being lazy and under-productive when they tend to focus on external things while working. If you start texting someone or scrolling your Instagram feed, you will not even realize that you’ve wasted hours.

If you need a few minutes to relax, get some distance, or entertain yourself, perhaps by engaging in some fun-filled activities or getting something to eat, you might find it beneficial to take a few minutes out.

Taking a break isn’t so much a time-waster as when you lose track of time, you neglect the task at hand.

Some Tips to Motivate Remote Employees

  • You should communicate your expectations, providing updates as needed.
  • Establish parameters for the work. Let your employees know them.
  • Develop dedicated workspaces for everyone.
  • Develop new technologies together, test them, and implement them.
  • Take the time to chat and check-in.
  • You should always reward your employees. Praise them for their good work.
  • Block distracting websites and use time tracking software.
  • The Pomodoro technique increases productivity (a loop of work without any distractions for 25 minutes and takes a 5-minute break).

Conclusion

Employees tend to get bored sometimes because of a monotonous schedule every day. Moreover, working remotely comes at the cost of various distracting factors like families, responsibilities, email and the internet, etcetera. Due to these factors, remote employees waste time. 

Employees wasting time directly impact a company’s growth, and employee productivity has a vital role in maintaining great company performance.

Thus, it is crucial for employers to know why employees waste time during remote work. Also, they should find out the factors that distract remote employees from work. 

Knowing why and how employees spend time is not sufficient; an organization should find solutions to the problem and seek ways to improve employee productivity.

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