Top 10 Employee Time Wasters

All employees and their employers like to believe they are efficient, focused workers who simply "get the job done." According to a variety of sources, that's just not the case. The average American worker wastes two hours and five minutes each day - not counting lunch - translating to a productivity loss of more than $759 billion a year. Although we can't all be machines, there are some things we can do to improve our time management.

Click to learn why time tracking is essential for survival

Daily, employees poorly allocate their time and do not properly manage tasks and resources because they get sucked into things like Internet surfing - the most common culprit for time wasting. What are the other top time wasters? According to an American Online and Salary.com survey of more than 10,000 respondents, the top employee time wasters are:

  1. Surfing Facebook and YouTube for personal use
  2. Checking personal email
  3. Social networks
  4. Conducting personal business
  5. Spacing out
  6. Running errands
  7. Making personal phone calls
  8. Applying for jobs
  9. Planning personal events
  10. Arriving late or leaving early

The next question to ask is why do people waste time? Is it procrastination or boredom? The survey says:

  1. Overloaded with work
  2. Underpaid for the work they do
  3. Distracting co-workers
  4. Not enough evening or weekend time to get the little things done

Time Management and Project Scheduling  (more project strategies here)

The impact of wasted time on project costs and time scheduling is up for debate. Routinely, wasting time increases project deadlines and creates delays for even the best project plans. Time tracking is affected as wasted time often gets billed twice when employees log idle time during traditional hours. As a result, employees spend longer days or weekends to get a project back on track.

Better time management and time tracking resources could help. Many employers long for intuitive, easy-to-implement time management software tools to help employees organize and track their time. That’s not to say, that some wasted time won't occur. Most employers build one hour of wasted time each day, plus lunch, into salaried employee compensations.

Time Management in the Workplace

Some employers limit personal Internet use as an effort to increase productivity by placing time limits on visiting sites that are not viewed as "core to their business." Employers are also using Internet blocking software that prohibits employees from even getting to the Internet. It’s that bad. In a report released last year, the American Management Association (AMA) reported that three-quarters of the companies they interviewed monitor employee Web site connections for inappropriate Internet surfing. "Sixty-five percent use software to block access to certain Web sites, a 27% increase (in companies using this technology) since 2001, according to the AMA."

Surfing the Internet - even wasting time - is not all bad. Many employers recognize that some down time can be good for business. Executives from Salary.com report that many companies view this type of time as "creative waste" that benefits a company’s culture, work environment and even improves the bottom line." The idea is that time spent surfing the net or talking with co-workers fuels ideas, improves processes and builds bonds between people. This can enhance a company’s worker-friendly reputation, especially when the delivery of a big project is rewarded with a little downtime, or workers are given "on-the-clock" time for family issues.

The bottom line in time management ultimately is that projects do have to be completed and employees do have to track and bill for their time. Most managers can quickly identify employees who are professional slackers and those who take a breather to re-charge or occasionally handle personal business. The proof is in the pudding and people - even those who take a little Internet break - are rewarded by efficiently using their time to drive their business forward.


Others are picking up on this issue. Have you seen the infographic below? I thought this was interesting and helpful. (click the link and scroll down for the real content.)



How can we help?

Our simple, intuitive time management tools and timesheets help employees make work time more productive. Our easy-to-use tools show only the projects and tasks assigned to each user can help employees focus. It reminds them of their tasks, deadlines and responsibilities and helps organize their work week. Nothing can stop an errant employee from surfing the Web all day, but clearly defined tasks with due dates and reminders, can help employees get things done. Download today, and try it yourself!

So enough reading...we've got to back to work!

Time Billing and Consulting Software

Standard Time® is a time billing, timesheet and consulting software product designed for consultants and small companies. Consultant time tracking software is a perfect way to ensure productivity. Download a trial today. If you are a consultant or bill time to clients, buy a copy of the billing and time tracking software, and start saving money each month! This billing and time tracking software saves you money because it captures every billable hour, plus creates a defendable record that gets you paid! Every time!

If you are a small business that bills time to clients, you need time and billing software that can run on Windows Web, Palm OS, and Pocket PC. Don't settle for just a web version of time and billing software.  We offer both Windows and Web platforms for time entry anywhere you are.

Plus, we offer project tracking and project management combined with an employee timesheet, quick tasks, and a timer in one package for one price.  Don't pay for each module you license, get it all for one price. Log time to client tasks, and instantly create a client invoice, plus accept client payments. It works with QuickBooks and Microsoft Project.

Video: Unique Features
Consulting Video

Features of our Consulting Software

  • Time billing, consulting software
  • Consultant time tracking
  • Consultant billing
  • Time reporting
  • Works with QuickBooks software
  • Integrates with Microsoft Project software
  • Windows and web based employee timesheet
  • Android time tracking
  • iPhone time tracking

QuickBooks Timesheet Integration

Standard Time and QuickBooks make a terrific combination for time tracking and client billing.  You can easily configure the product to send all time and expenses to QuickBooks for the purpose of billing customers and paying employees.  You can also gather time using timesheets or timer from subcontractors who bill you. Have you downloaded a free trial yet?  Watch the QuickBooks video.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: You can bypass QuickBooks IIF files by allowing the program to talk directly to QuickBooks.  See Tools, QuickBooks, Import Customers and Jobs.  The text below describes the old method of integration.

Here's how it works:
Choose Tools, Integration Options, QuickBooks.  There you can set up to point to the QuickBooks List and Timer IIF files.  Next, type in your Employee name, and click OK.  That's it!  You are ready to use the program for time tracking for billing in QuickBooks.  This entirely replaces the QuickBooks timer with a more robust time tracking software solution.  Each time the program is started, it will automatically bring in the QuickBooks list of Customer:Jobs, Service Items, and Customers, and make them available in the timesheet interface.

The timesheet will automatically save all new time logs to the QuickBooks Timer file, which you can import into QuickBooks from time to time.  It even works for employees who work from home and have sparse VPN connections to the main office.  If the program cannot immediately save QuickBooks information, it will try again later.  It's smart enough to get through when the VPN connection is reestablished.  Employees who work from home will love it!

We offer a weekly timesheet, project tasks, quick tasks, and other time tracking features that all contribute to QuickBooks.  You don't even need to use the timer; you can use a simple timesheet interface instead.  All the data is available to QuickBooks for billing.  If you plan to use the Web Edition for its web based timesheet, you can still export this data to QuickBooks using the File, Export menu. 

If you track time for the purposes of billing, the benefits are clear.
    - Simple client billing for QuickBooks
    - Time tracking, employee time sheets, and project tasks
    - Web based time sheet for QuickBooks
    - Detailed reporting for client billing
    - Export time and expenses to QuickBooks (or quick book)
    - Project planning and project management


Learn more about QuickBooks at the Intuit website: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/



Time Card Software

This tool is an electronic time card system that offers a simple enterprise time sheet.  That means employees from the entire company can enter time into a single time tracking database for use in project time management or client billing.  It also helps track employee attendance and hours.  Download a trial now!

This is not a printed time card system; we don't print the old-time computer punch card-style manila cards to be stuffed into time clocks on the way in and out of work.  Instead it offers a Windows and Web based time sheet interface.  Employees enter time into the timesheet, and then submit it.  Managers can approve and lock the timesheet so that time cannot be accidentally entered after a payroll period has ended.

As a time tracking tool, it offers the ability to track time to multiple projects and clients.  Employees can use the timesheet, timer, PDA versions, or Web based project time sheet.  Time can be imported into QuickBooks or other accounting system for employee payroll or client billing.

Features in our Time Card Software

  • Replaces printed time card
  • Works with QuickBooks or other accounting software
  • Integrates with Microsoft Project software
  • Time tracking tool for employee attendance
  • Project scheduling software
  • Windows and web based employee timesheet
  • Palm time tracking
  • Pocket PC time tracking


Download a fully functional timesheet that will remain active for 30 days.
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