By the final stages of Covid-19, the old workplace was in need of repair, a new one had to be drawn up. What was needed was a workplace that could adapt to the sweeping changes that were necessary for the health and safety of employees and employers worldwide. Social distancing and personal health are of course the main areas of concern for contemporary workplaces, and it seems that this will be the case for at least the foreseeable future. However, with the influx of Covid-related work changes comes the marginalization of many issues that had plagued the workplace pre-pandemic, many of which were also pressing in their own right and in dire need of addressing.
One of the most pressing of these issues was the amount of time that was lost in planning office schedules. In spite of efficient attempts on behalf of managers, an estimated 10% of the workforce in certain countries, such the United States for example, are subject to irregular call hours and work schedules. However, the issue of planning office times itself brings up the much more broader issue of time management itself, and how it has been affecting the workplace.
In comparison with issues of Covid-19’s nature, a concern like managing how you spend office time probably seems rather innocuous, however it remains a point of concern. In addition to office planning, too often are workers overwhelmed with distractions to complete their deadlines. Between having to deal with office distractions and interruptions, there is a lot in a day that has the potential to knock worker morale.
In fact, research from the University of California indicated that on average, a normal worker in an office environment is interrupted every three minutes or so, with it often taking more than 20 minutes to refocus where they were. Author Jonathan Spira stated that, after calculations, an estimated 28 billion hours are lost every year due to such interruptions and distractions in the workplace. Spira stated that this extraordinary amount of hours wasted was an equivalent to over $1 trillion lost for the economy.
While it is not a helpful idea to compare the significance of various issues, it is important to understand that there are issues in addition to Covid-related ones that need immediate attention also. Throughout the course of this article, there will be numerous tips and pieces of advice provided on how to better manage time in an office space, efficiently using it in order to increase office productivity, and ultimately, employee satisfaction. Ultimately, as strange as it may seem, ensuring better time management may be as vital as better health and safety policies for the prosperity of future workplaces.
There are a number of methods that have the potential to curve the amount of time lost in office planning, or in regard to time lost due to distractions and interruptions. If time management is going to be a concern for businesses, then they can look at the following options:
Use of logging
If an employee is going to find out where their precious time is going, then they might find the benefit in auditing their day. Logging your daily schedule may prove fruitful if one is going to discover the kind of things that are taking up too much time, e.g. phone calls, emails etc.
Also this style of auditing could prove comprehensively to an employee when in the day they are most productive, and how much they can feasibly get done in a work day. By logging the number of hours of “efficient” work, an employee, or employer, can have in their mind an achievable minimum they have to get done in order to complete their day, and it is up to them whether or not they want to build on this.
Adherence to a daily schedule
Strict organization is a crucial step in better time management. A to-do list is arguably one of the simplest things someone can do up in their free time, however it has the potential to facilitate greater productivity if followed thoroughly. Leaving the house with a list of things they need to get done immediately can give an employee clear direction for the day, allowing them to get working right away as soon as they enter their office.
The significance of having clear direction in mind for work is imperative to productivity. Establishing the tasks at hand the day before allows for employees to subconsciously start planning how they are going to deal with them in advance, possibly resulting in even more developed approaches at work, and in turn, greater enthusiasm.
It may seem counterintuitive to time management to write up a list for work, however the time spent in making up a list that provides clear and precise direction takes up way less time than sitting around. Employees could very likely instead spend their time wondering what to do next, giving in to daily interruptions and distractions, had they did not made up a simple list.
Designate specific work at specific times
Responding to emails and messages, in addition to making phone calls, are all common features of a typical work day for an office employee. The influx of emails and messages has serious potential to distract workers, and derail their schedule. That is why it is important that they do not answer them right away, but instead create a specific period in the day where they can deal with them all at the same time, during an hour or an hour and a half long period. Turning off mobile phones will curtail any potential for serious distraction in the working day.
Organizing particular tasks during the day is certainly not just limited to emails or phone calls etc. They can also apply to group meetings, which, while undeniably important, can unintentionally drain needless amounts of time. By leaving them to be held toward the end of the day for example, employers can effectively ensure that meetings, supposed to be important to group morale, do not accidentally derail it by accident through distracting all those present.
Limit time for tasks
In keeping with this theme, setting specific amounts of time for different jobs in the day is also an essential part of time management. To-do lists are important, however, even with them, certain employees may feel like some tasks never get done. They get bogged down in one particular task they feel they have to finish before they move on and then before they realise it, almost all the day is done and they still have a lot on their list left to do.
This is why time limiting is so important. Doing this in accompaniment with your to-do list will lead to greater efficiency all round. While an employee may still not be satisfied with the amount of work done on one specific task, it is still much better to have one task not done to complete satisfaction, and nine tasks done thoroughly, than to have one task completed thoroughly and nine tasks left abandoned for another day.
The importance of prioritising cannot be overstated, its benefits to time management are undeniable. Too often are workers burdened with duties that do not warrant their time, which in turn leads to a decline in enthusiasm for work and, as a result, a decline in productivity. Looking at a to-do list and measuring the significance of scheduled tasks is a handy way of ensuring that this does not happen.
If an employee places emphasis on doing prioritised tasks first, in an ideal day, he/she will complete them within a reasonable amount of time, leaving the less-satisfying ones toward the end of the day. By this time, the employee will be rejuvenated with confidence from completing their earlier, prioritised tasks, making these less-satisfying, unenthusiastic tasks all the more easier to complete, and resulting in greater office productivity. While idealised, this situation is certainly not an impossible one.
We at Ronspot understand the significance of time management. We understand that there is a great amount of time being lost in office planning, which is one of the reasons we have taken the measures to create a user-friendly app that has the potential to curve this issue. With our Desk Booking System, employees have the opportunity to reserve office spaces in the workplace via an interactive map on the app.
By using the desk reservation software, one can ensure limited office capacity, allowing for employees to adhere to social distancing protocols, ensuring health safety. Once a desk is reserved, it becomes unavailable for anyone else to use, and a cleaning report is easily generated following usage, ensuring it will be clean for the next slot.
Through our Ronspot app, time management will be a lot easier. Employers and managers will be able to spend less time planning out office capacities at various times in the week. They will not have to labour over the task of assigning office hours to different employees because, for the most part, this will be in the hands of the employees themselves.
With our Parking Management System, employers and employees have the opportunity to book parking spaces available. Much like the Hot Desk Booking System, it allows those using it to look at any real-time available parking spaces, and with the tap of a button, they can book the chosen vacated parking space.
Needless to say, usage of this app will eschew any potential for time wasting in this regard. It is not an exaggeration to state that the tedious task of searching for parking spaces first thing in the morning when employees come into the office has the strong potential of dampening any enthusiasm that one may have had when he/she wakes up in the morning.
At Ronspot, we strongly believe these system, in addition to the aforementioned methods laid out above, has the potential to positively change the amount of time lost in office planning and parking. This allows for much better time management, and more importantly, as a result, more productive office output.