How to become 25 % more effective at work

time_wastedAre you currently reading my blog, while being at work? Chances are that 1 out of 4 other employees are goofing off as well right now. 25 % of office time is wasted doing personal stuff like checking personal e-mail, chatting, using Facebook or reading news, according to several questionnaires. Since you are reading my blog, you are not wasting office hours; you are currently investing in future employee productivity enhancements, time well spent.

My conclusion is simple; you will with this knowledge get an easy head start of winning at the office, and creates a momentum that will get your results to the top in no time.

So what can you do?

  • Do not check your private e-mails at work.
  • Do not use your company e-mail for personal e-mails.
  • Do not log on Facebook or other social media, unless you use it for work related issues.
  • Create a MSN account for use at work, with only co-workers and professional contacts in it.
  • Read news in the morning before work or/and after work.
  • Use online banking service, instead of leaving the office.
  • Do not play computer games, or online games. – What feels like one minute online, is five minutes in real life. Do not play even at breaks or at lunch hour.

If you manage to follow these few steps you will gain a upper hand on your fellow co-workers.

Real life example
I have been working at a call center since February 2006. Call center metrics has become a fascinating subject in my life. In this line of business we focus on seconds. Talk time, in between calls time, handling time, response time and time on breaks. All of these measured in seconds. So what do the best call center employees do? Let me show you some examples:

Agent A
Average handling time: 320 seconds
Average wrap up time: 30 seconds
Numbers of calls handled: 50

Agent B
Average handling time: 260 seconds
Average wrap up time: 45 seconds
Numbers of calls handled: 52

Agent C
Average handling time: 200 seconds
Average wrap up time: 25 seconds
Numbers of calls handled: 60

Which is doing the best job? At first it might seem that Agent C is doing the best job, handling 60 calls. Great job! But as a call center manager I have learned that looking at one number only will get you lost.

Lets add up their time:
Agent C has spent 3 hours and 45 minutes handling the 60 callers.
Agent B has spent 4 hours and 24 minutes handling the 52 callers.
Agent A has spent 4 hours and 51 minutes handling the 50 callers.

This means that Agent A has spent most time with the customers, and using most of this day effective.

Improvements: Agent A needs to shorten handling time. Agent B needs to shorten his wrap up time and improve time on the phone. Agent C needs to spend more time working.

These examples prove that improvements can be done.
If Agent C spends as much time available on the phone as agent A, Agent C will handle 17 more calls. An improvement of 28 % – Maybe we will find a lot of facebook activity at Agent C’s profile?

Lets debate
Some will argue that Agent C still does the best job, as she handles most callers, and Agent C deserve to have some fun in between. My experience is that that I agree to a certain point. The agents that are spending a lot of time available, feels that Agent C is goofing off leaving the rest to do the work. A mental change needs to be implemented at the office for a result only environment.
The point of this article is not to debate this either, but to show you that improvements can be done, and by eliminating time thieves you will be able to spend more time doing a great job. Imagine Agent C delivering 77 calls and the rest averaging at 50… Agent C would be a legend in no time.

Think smart, improve tremendously…

Tell me your worst story of wasting company time, or have you experienced great improvements by eliminating time thieves? Please share.

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