Bennis Inc. | Pinching Pennies When Time Is Money
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Pinching Pennies When Time Is Money

The saying ‘time is money’ is somewhat of a cliche. Though you may have used this in half-hearted attempts to improve office efficiency, it’s one of those sayings most of us don’t think about.

In truth though, time literally is money in business. In the office, every second has its costs. Even when you’re paying a salary, staff presence is an expense out of your business account. Even your presence has a cost. And, that expense can either turn into profit or leak down the time-wasting drain.

If you and your staff aren’t reaching your full potential every moment in the office, you’re a drain the company could do without. Wasted time can lead to severe issues and failing profits. Yet, if you break down the office day, there’s a good chance up to an hour goes to waste.

With profits in mind, you could do with pinching those time-based pennies. Here are a few ways you can do it.

Implement goals and rewards

Things like coffee breaks and brief conversations are the main culprits for wasted time. The trouble is, coming down hard on these means going up against an unhappy workforce. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t regain some control over an overly social work atmosphere that causes inefficiencies. All you need to do is get into the habit of setting daily goals and aligning them with rewards. Motivate staff by allowing them an earned day off with pay or to leave work earlier if they get all the tasks done ahead of schedule. This is a simple step, but with the motivation of paid time off out of the office, employees will be reaching for their phones and computers instead of the fifth cup of coffee.

Soar over setbacks

Not all time wasting is staff-based. Things like crashed computers or lack of supplies can also cause trouble. If a staff computer crashes, lack of prep could even see them unable to work for an afternoon or more. Yet, you still have to pay them! To make sure this doesn’t leave you out of pocket, put plans in place now. Something as simple as having managed IT services on hand could be all it takes to save the workday. That way, computer crashes can be corrected in no time at all. Equally, you should keep stationary and the like stocked so that staff never have to waste working time going to a store for their necessary items!

Spot the holes

If you have holes in your purse, you lose money. Similarly, if you have holes in your time management, you also lose money. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to spot where those holes are! Simple things, like the distance between offices, can lead to lost time. If staff have to go up and down flights of stairs multiple times a day to communicate with one another, for instance, you’re looking at lost profit. Equally, a long distance to the break room could spell trouble. All you need to do is spot holes and fill them. Something as simple as rearranging the office or providing several mini break stations or copy stations around the office could be enough to put a stop to wasted time. And, that may well be all it takes to welcome more profits!

If you work in a traditional office environment, what are some of the biggest culprits of inefficiency and wasted time? Share your thoughts – and solutions by leaving a comment below!

Stephanie Shirley