“Work smart, not hard” – this recommendation may seem sound to some, and nonsense to others. But no matter what you think about it, there’s a fact you cannot neglect – working hard constantly and without breaks for a long time is impossible. It’s like using a car engine for hours at the full capacity – eventually, it will break down. However, if you take care to use it gently, with occasional breaks, it will serve you for years.
People aren’t machines, and cannot be totally concentrated on their work and perform at the “full speed” at all times. Even if they do (like many company leaders or those we call “workaholics”), it leads to nothing else than fatigue, burnout and frustration. The worst variant is, when employees are under pressure to work more and more productively – this not only makes them feel overworked, but often leads to their leaving the job. So how to find a healthy balance that will facilitate employee productivity and not burn them out?
First of all, what is productivity? In layman’s knowledge, it means achieving set results during a certain period of time. So, increasing productivity would mean doing more during the same time. In this case, trying to prolong their working day by shortening lunch time, prohibiting coffee breaks or blocking access to social networks looks ineffective. Instead, it would be wise to think of ways to “reinvigorate” employees in the course of the day.
How a time tracking service helps tackle productivity growth
It is important to note that before launching your productivity improvement campaign measuring your current standing is a must. Otherwise, how would you know whether the situation is improving or deteriorating? It can be done using a time tracking service, which is installed on employee computers and records all activity on them. Based on the used resources (websites, software), and their relation to work (productive/unproductive/neutral), the tool provides an objective evaluation of the overall employee work efficiency.
If the received results leave much to be desired, time to think of boosting productivity without strain. Let’s turn to science here. According to numerous studies, people tend to be maximally productive for 4-6 hours a day on average. Moreover, this is achieved on the condition of taking occasional breaks to let the brains “reload”. But the typical work day lasts 8 hours. What to do with the remaining time? The best way would be to spend it on activities that don’t require much mental energy or even breaks.
Yes, you got it right – breaks can be helpful in boosting efficiency. This is proven by the Pomodoro technique, based on taking 5-minute breaks after every 25 minutes of work, and 10-15 minute break after 2 hours. It is important that during the short break one totally distracts from the work task and uses it to get some rest. It can be taking a short walk, drinking a cup of coffee, making a personal phone call or even checking a social network profile.
The popularity of this method is the indication of its effectiveness, so you can try it out. With a time tracking service, it is simple and risk-free, since it allows to control how accurately your employees stick to the rules, what is the duration of their breaks and what they do during them. It will also help make sure that the periods of work are totally distraction-free.
Another point of importance to consider is the issue of adequate workload. Some employees may demonstrate low productivity simply due to being overloaded and overworked. The others, vice versa, spend much time being idle – because they quickly complete their tasks and have nothing else to do. A time tracking service is an excellent means of detecting such instances and optimizing the workload, which will be immediately reflected on the productivity figures.
The best part of the above methods is they are quite simple and cheap to implement, but promising in terms of results. You can check out their effectiveness right now by registering for Yaware.TimeTracker and starting your 14-day free trial.