Common Causes of Wasted Time in the Workplace, and How to Prevent Them

We all know how important our time is, especially in the workplace. If time is wasted, the work is affected and deadlines can easily be missed.

For anyone who is unsure of where they may be losing time in the workplace, here are some of the most common causes and what you can do to stop them from happening.


Using Social Media for Personal Use

One common cause of wasted time in the workplace is employees using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook outside of their breaks. Twitter can take up hours of an employee’s time with new tweets being posted all the time. Similarly, Facebook has regular updates and messaging that can waste hours of the workday easily.

There are several options for preventing this particular type of time-wasting. One effective solution is to have your IT Department establish site-blocking software on the employee’s computers, or if you feel this is overly strict, you could get monitoring software that allows you to see what sites they’re visiting, and you can have a private discussion with them to ask them to limit their usage.


Poor Organization

Lack of good organization is also a cause of wasted time. A messy desk can leave you unable to find important documents and cause you to expend far too much time digging through the mess to locate one paper. This organization applies to an employee’s online document storage system as well. If your online documents are disorganized, submitting a document to management or sharing it with other employees can take much longer than it should.

One solution to the hard copy disorganization is simply using a desk organizer and folders. A solution to online disorganization is to organize your documents in folders on your computer to make them easy to find and access.


Personal Email

Checking personal email is also a common cause of wasted time in the workplace. Many employees check their personal email accounts multiple times throughout the day, and not only does this take up time, but it also distracts them from their tasks and can affect the quality of work.

To prevent this, you could also use computer monitoring software to stay on top of what your employees are doing.



Meetings are a huge time waster. This is not to say that all meetings are wastes of time, but most meetings have no real agenda and are only held for the sake of it. Furthermore, the majority of employees don’t fully take in what’s being said, with 73% admitting to doing other work whilst it’s going on.  Even if you’re holding a meeting for good reason, factors such as inefficient dissemination of information, technical difficulties, or even lengthy small talk can further increase the time-wasting potential of such meetings.

To prevent the wasted time that occurs through meetings, share the information via email, office memos, or other forms of more efficient office communication.


Employees Not Working Together

Employees failing to communicate or work as a team can lead to further time-wasting in the workplace. Such a lack of coordination can lead to errors, slow down projects, and even cause missed deadlines. All of these outcomes further waste time as errors have to be fixed, projects have to be rushed, and deadlines have to be extended.

This issue can be addressed using team planner software to enhance communication and coordination between employees on tasks or projects.

Don’t let time-wasting be a burden for your business. By analyzing the workplace and applying some of the above methods or prevention, you can help to ensure everything is more efficient.