Worried About Employee Productivity? This New Software Shows You Who’s Doing What…and When!

Fantasy football costs businesses more than $1.1 billion per week.

This according to insurance company BOLT, which measured productivity (or lack thereof) in a recent study. The company produced an infographic that detailed just what employees are doing each day. It’s not what you think.

Visiting websites, especially sports sites, consumes a large chunk of employee time each week, certainly. Employees also waste time hanging out on social networks and checking personal e-mail. But the majority of unproductive time is spent in meetings.

Yes, meetings. If your office holds multiple mandatory meetings to plan work, yet no work is getting done, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Other time-wasters like office politics and tending to work e-mails show up prominently on BOLT’s study, as well. In fact, if a business was somehow able to log every second of every worker’s day, that business might be extremely surprised just how much time unproductive work-related tasks zap each day.

DeskTime has a solution that can help. A small business owner need only buy the product and install it on each workstation. The software takes it from there. Employers can then be able to access a list of employees that details what time they arrived at work, the number of productive and unproductive hours, and exactly what the employee is doing at a given time. On an ongoing basis, employers will have access to charts and graphs that give an overall view of where employee time is being allocated each day.

“The reports come out year after year – increasing use of the internet by employees that has nothing to do with work,” a DeskTime spokesperson says. “While internet usage for non-company business is the not the only cause of non-productive work, internet usage by employees can be measured, which is exactly where DeskTime fills a need.”

Not only can supervisors determine where employee time is invested, the workers themselves can look at their overall productivity. Often seeing this data in black and white can be very eye-opening to employees, who have no idea just where their time is going each day. For businesses and firms that track time for billing purposes, DeskTime can prove an invaluable way to document each minute of each day.

With prices starting at $9 a month per employee for 20 employees or less, DeskTime can fit into any budget. Businesses with 10-20 employees receive a 10 percent discount on that price. The software comes with a 30-day free trial to allow employers to try before buying.

In addition to installing DeskTime, employers may consider using a service that blocks certain websites. In BOLT’s survey, 41 percent of respondents admitted wasting time on Facebook, while 37 percent spend time on LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is a business networking tool, BOLT pointed out that 46 percent of workers admitted to looking for another job while working at their present job, which could send them to LinkedIn to network their way right out of your office.

While a little downtime can provide a refresher to staff, if left unchecked, unproductive activities can cause a serious strain on your business’s resources. By using today’s technology tools, business owners can gain the information they need to increase productivity.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

5 thoughts on “Worried About Employee Productivity? This New Software Shows You Who’s Doing What…and When!

  1. Adam at Technojobs

    I’d be cautious of making employees feel as though they’re being watched by management every second of every day.

    We’ve all heard of the 20/80 cut (20% of employees do 80% of the work) and making your star players feel ‘watched’ is very risky indeed. Personally, I wouldn’t know how to positively pitch this without being torn to shreds.

    However, while I do agree that unproductive activities can damage productivity, there are other ways to address this with rewards, incentives and regular reviews.

    After all, you get the behavior that you reward.

  2. Carolyn Crummey

    I actually think this is a great tool for small businesses. I’ve managed many groups in my career and while often times we instinctively know who’s bearing the weight of work and who’s just cruising and possibly goofing off more, implementing a tool like this makes EVERYONE accountable. Those 20%’s that Adam notes in his comment – well I think they’d be pleased to know that FINALLY someone is going to hold those ‘slackers’ next to them, that they’ve been doing work for, accountable. How to pitch it: “We are a small business with limited resources and we need to track productivity. If you are doing your job and handling all your responsibilities, then you’ll have no problem, if not, well you may want to change that”.

    I know if I had done that with some of the past groups I managed, that there would certainly be some folks smirking and some folks sweating!


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