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Tiger Woods Scandal Costs Billions In Employee Waste

time managementA study done by America Online and Salary.com suggested that U.S. employees waste an average of 2 hours a day when at work. The study states that the average salary of the 132 million Americans working (not counting farms)  at the time of the study had a salary of  $39,795 per year – or $19.13 per hour.  InBusiness asked 50 close colleagues from a variety of industries and professions how much time they would estimate they had wasted in the last several weeks reading, twitter, blogging, watching, and talking about the Tiger Woods scandal. The numbers are simply shocking when you consider the impact on an economy wide  scale. Our survey stated that on average, the participants had spent approx. An hour and a half keeping up with Tiger and his harem. This is in addition to the estimated 2 hours per day the average american spends on time wasting activities such as the old favorite fantasy football while at work. So what was Tigers total tally on American businesses? Tiger may have one the best golf swings of all time, but he would have to keep swinging for over a century at his current winning rate to make up for the 3.8 billion dollars his cell phone message heard round the office cost American business.

So what  can businesses and employees learn from and event that will undoubtedly become as synonymous with cheating spouses as Google is with searching? It is important to train employees strong time management and productivity habits in advance so that distractions such as a Tigers don’t have a dramatic effect on productivity.  Often large events such as this are the adult equivalent of a snow day. Humans have a strong herding instinct thanks to evolution. When an event like the Tiger Woods incident comes along, it acts like a boiling point where people assume that everyone else is going to waste time talking about it, so they assume they can too. It becomes a forgone conclusion.  The best way to avoid these types of time waste, which some would argue serve the purpose of building office culture, is to instill proper time management protocols in your workforce from the beginning.

As an internet marketing specialist I spend a lot of time with distractions in my face. I am constantly searching in Google, through blogs, and Facebook to run marketing campaigns for our clients. It is incredibly easy to get distracted. How do I do it? I set finite rules that I do not allow myself to break. I limit myself to no more than 3 browsing windows or tabs at a time (I used to have over 10 open). A normal user should limit themselves to no more than 1 or 2. I right the next 10 tasks that I have to accomplish on a white board and systematically accomplish them one at a time. I am not allowed to work on anything else until I have accomplished the task at hand. It is to easy to distract yourself in this day and age. Even a trip to the coffee pot can waste as much as 15 minutes when you account for how long it will take you to get going again. The day I mastered working on only one thing at a time was they day I increased productivity on a per hour basis by over 50%.  It really is amazing what you can do when you focus.

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