Wellbeing has increasingly become an important topic in the workplace. While many organizations have acknowledged that investments should be made to help employees and ultimately improve retention and job satisfaction, there is still a long way to go.
In fact, time management company, Magical’s ‘State of Time Report‘ had some concerning findings. The company spoke to over 1,000 employed adults ages 18 and over on topics related to time management in the workplace, and found how time and wellbeing are linked.
The state of wellbeing and time management
The survey found that 56% of respondents said their mental health has suffered due to stress caused by continual time mismanagement at their jobs. Additionally, 62% would consider taking a 10% pay cut to have a four-day work week.
In a time when retention is paramount to business success, many will be concerned that Magical found that 67% of employees consider quitting their job at least once a month due to the frustrations caused by time mismanagement at their jobs. On top of that, 76% say their work calendar overwhelms them at least once a month.
The feelings of employees have likely become more severe over the pandemic as 83% noted that their meetings had stayed the same length or got longer in the last two years.
Acting on this data
Discussing this situation, Tommy Barav, Magical’s co-founder and CEO, stated: “While COVID-19 accelerated the transition to hybrid and remote work, our findings make it clear that status quo workplace time management practices have not evolved.
“The future of work is at an inflection point as the antiquated processes, policies, and technologies of years past don’t sync with the demands of the modern-day workforce.”
Barav concluded: “Our findings indicate that despite more of the workforce operating from the comforts of home, most employees are operating in working environments that are not optimizing their time.
“Even as more work has shifted home, the stresses associated with the traditional office place have followed suit.”
Evidently how employers prioritize wellbeing must be reassessed in a way that encompasses time management. The first step toward bettering wellbeing can be a small one.
Magical found that 61% of employees said they’re most productive in meetings that last less than 30 minutes. An easy way to make meetings more productive is to have a list of points, and maintain focus. Ultimately this means employees can be engaged with the content rather than worrying about their other tasks.
It is also essential for companies to let employees set boundaries. For many working from home is led to them working longer hours and struggling to switch off. Companies often aren’t supportive of employees taking their personal time.
This is illustrated by Qualtrics, which found that 49% of employees are still doing at least an hour of work a day while on vacation. If employees are not switching off they are going to blame their managers and consider looking elsewhere for work.
Of course, an effective way to understand the needs of employees is to begin talking to them and creating surveys to understand their needs.
Larger scale changes to time management
Although a majority of workers surveyed by Magical supported a four-day working week, this would be one of the toughest measures to put in place.
Despite the fact that a shorter working week has proved to be successful in Iceland, many businesses will need to be contacted across the week and as a result, not having staff in could become too disadvantageous to justify.
Staggered working patterns can be introduced, but this can also make it even harder to get the hybrid workforce together for face-to-face meetings.
If you have spoken to employees and have an understanding of the wellbeing issues they are facing, you can leverage data to benchmark where you are and how your company can improve.
If burnout is a problem, task automation, designated time off, and even support with the likes of childcare can turn a retention crisis into a positive employee experience that drives loyalty.
Finally, productivity tools like Asana, Hive, or Google Docs can show managers just how much work employees are doing and when they’re doing it. This allows employers to show staff that they are appreciated and enables them to see if employees are working too much and need a break.
Time management is difficult for staff across most companies, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t essential. Particularly if you want to retain a happy workforce.