It is now an unspoken rule of the working world that if you need to go on the internet and do some personal “stuff” whatever that may be, maybe emailing, or shopping, or your personal calendar, etc that it is ok and actually most people feel that they are on the computer already so why not, it doesn’t take time away from my work, well, maybe it does and maybe not. The same can be said for printing, copying, shipping items and a lot of other area that are conducive to your particular business. The rationalization for this extra activity is that if you had to do it on your own time; well it would take away from your lunch hour and you would be all stressed out, and it would cost you money, on and on, etc You also get the same line of thinking with phones, most office people have cell phones and smart phones that were paid for by your company and they get the dual use of both personal and private use, because you have your phone with you at all hours.
This article isn’t really concerned with all of the above because that is up to each individual company to set precedence and then keep it. What I have also seen in companies is that the biggest timewasters are usually due to poor training, mismanagement, and inefficient systems set in place. If someone stopped to improve in these areas the deadline crunches may be a little less stressed. Here are some examples, and I am sure you can come up with some of your own:
There have to be times when we ask why? I have contracted at many companies and each time I see something that seems like it takes 7 steps when it really should take 2, I just ask, why? Most of the time, people have had very odd reactions and they scratch their heads until they finally all meet and come up with an answer like, “2 years ago when Bill (who is now in a different area) ran this department, he had this secretary named Nancy and she could not read the report, so . . .” and they continue on. Then of course we figure out, most of the systems they are using are outdated or just plain inefficient for now, today, this hour who is doing these tasks.
Inadequate training is rampant in today’s workplace; it is like giving someone half sentences, and incorrect words and then expecting them to put together a book with inadequate data. In the same token mismanagement can also be a huge time waster; you may have too much competition between managers, maybe some managers are not skilled enough or not experienced enough to actually have a successful well run department. All of these factors trickle down, and sometimes the employees have quite a bit of down time in between crunches, then suddenly it is like the building is on fire and we all have to pull together to meet the ridiculously timed deadline. In the meantime we all develop bad habits, kind of a binge purge existence!