Tag: hours

Source: Business Matters 

Employees needed 42 hours each to familiarise themselves with their latest software with nearly three quarters of office workers are using photocopiers and nearly half still using fax machines proves paper-reliant office is far from dead.

According to new research from serviced office specialist Workthere, the average UK worker is wasting 50 hours a year as a result of failing technology in the office, which Workthere estimates could result in an £11 billion loss for UK businesses, based on employment data from the ONS.

In particular, the next generation of office workers, those aged between 16 and 24, struggle most with outdated tech, wasting 62 per cent more time every week on inefficient technology compared to their colleagues that are aged 55 or over.

The survey of UK office workers, commissioned by Workthere and carried out by independent research company CensusWide, also found that it took around 42 working hours for an individual office employee to fully familiarise themselves with each new piece of software, which Workthere estimates equals around £830 worth of a professional employee’s time.

With businesses having introduced an average of four pieces of new software over the past three years, 45 per cent of workers claim that despite their employers’ investment in new technology, they don’t invest enough time into training staff to use it properly.

Cal Lee, founder of Workthere, commented: “With regards to the serviced office market in particular, the first thing we are asked about, after the cost, is what specification of technology will be available for a business to use. The office tech inventory can affect profits as well as play a vital role in the perception of a business, both internally and externally. Gone are the days of just ‘location, location, location’ – in the eyes of office workers, digital connectivity tops the list of innovations that will improve the office working experience in the next few years.”

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Workthere found that office technology can have a direct impact on employee performance and efficiency, with many employees believing that their company’s investment into its office technology is linked to its investment into staff welfare and how it conducts business. The survey results showed that almost half of respondents said a business with cheap office technology is probably not going to invest in the wellbeing of its staff.

In addition, 24 per cent indicated that they wouldn’t be prepared to do business with companies that do not have the most up-to-date office technology.

While the research shows that the paper-reliant office is far from dead, with 73 per cent of office workers using photocopiers and 42 per cent fax machines, it also shows that 42 per cent of respondents use cloud technology for file sharing and 36 per cent have video conferencing capabilities.

Lee continues: “The digital revolution is clearly taking a firm grip of office spaces. We found that connected technology is by far the number one technology that office workers deem most useful to improve the way they work in the next five years, with voice activated tech and wireless charging pads taking spot two and three respectively.

“Whilst different businesses will have different priorities, office tech that works efficiently and improves productivity without proving a distraction, or making staff anxious about using it, is definitely high on the agenda for both staff and employers. It is therefore increasingly important for businesses to know that their office spaces are able to facilitate a smooth tech experience.”

Source: Business Matters

Out with the 8-hour workday

The traditional 8-hour workday is an outdated, ineffective approach to work that actually diminishes productivity.

“It’s time for a change of thinking,” says Linda Trim, director at Giant Leap.

She noted the 8-hour workday was a relic of the industrial revolution created in an effort to cut down on the number of hours of tough manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor.

“But like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in 8-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Most people even work right through their lunch hour.”

Trim notes that if people want to be as productive as possible, they need to let go of this Dickensian approach.

Here’s a better way:

Structure your day

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group, a social networking website, tracked employees’ work habits by measuring how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

Said Trim: “They stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much. What mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were strict about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.”

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. They didn’t check Facebook or get distracted by e-mails. When they felt fatigue after about an hour, they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work.

The brain wants an hour on, 15 minutes off

People who have discovered this ‘magic’ productivity ratio tapped into a fundamental need of the human mind: the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes).

“For most of us, this natural ebb and flow of energy leaves us wavering between focused periods of high energy followed by far less productive periods, when we tire and succumb to distractions,” Trim noted.

Instead of working for an hour or more and then trying to battle through distractions and fatigue, when your productivity begins to dip, take this as a sign that it’s time for a break.

Boss your workday

The 8-hour workday can only work well for you if you break your time into strategic intervals that aligns with your natural energy. Here are the best ways to do it:

Break your day into hourly intervals – We naturally plan what we need to accomplish by the end of the day, the week, or the month, but we’re far more effective when we focus on what we can accomplish right now. “Planning your day around hour-long intervals simplifies daunting tasks by breaking them into manageable chunks,” said Trim.

Respect your hour – The interval strategy only works because we use our peak energy levels to reach an extremely high level of focus for a relatively short amount of time. When you disrespect your hour by texting or checking e-mails you defeat the entire purpose of the approach.

Take real rest – Getting away from your computer, your phone, and your to-do list is essential to boosting your productivity. Breaks such as walking, reading, and chatting are the most effective forms of recharging because they take you away from your work. On a busy day, it might be tempting to think of dealing with e-mails or making phone calls as breaks, but they aren’t, so don’t give in to this line of thought.

The wrap

“Breaking your day down into chunks of work and rest that match your natural energy levels feels good, makes your workday go faster, and boosts your productivity,” Trim concludes.

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