If you think that you – or most of your staff – spend most of their time on the job doing real work, think again. There’s sobering news in the 2016-2017 “U.S. State of Enterprise Work Report,” which shows beyond a doubt that busywork and housekeeping tasks keep getting in the way of real productivity.
Some nuggets from the study:
- Time available for office staff to perform their primary job functions declined from 46 percent to 39 percent between 2015 and 2016
- The top triggers for workplace time wasters were unnecessary meetings and too many emails
- At least a quarter of employees want uninterrupted time so that they can focus on their core roles
Survey respondents indicate that the lion share of their time clocked in on the job is irretrievably consumed by ancillary tasks and disruptions that are often nonessential. The breakdown of how their attention, efforts and time are spent (as a percentage of their work time) on clerical duties, housekeeping items and other distractions is as follows:
• Emails – 16 percent
• Useful meetings – 11 percent
• Administrative tasks – 11 percent
• Wasteful meetings – 10 percent
• Interruptions for nonessential tasks – 8 percent
• Miscellaneous – 5 percent
Plus, employees are clocking in more hours at work. Forty-five percent of workers log 41-50 hours per week, and 14 percent work 51 or more hours. That people are working longer, increasing hours is no consolation for the continued time crunch they still encounter in being able to do their actual jobs. In other words, working longer and spending more facetime at the office is not enhancing their performance, work-life balance, productivity or job satisfaction.
As a leader of a company, entrepreneur of a new proprietorship or manager of a team in a mid-to-large-sized organization, how can you regain more time for both you and your staff? After all, time is something that can neither be replaced nor replenished. Effective decision-makers bear a responsibility for ensuring it is maximized to the benefit of operations, customers, talent and the bottom line.
Virtual assistants (VAs) offer a proven solution, not merely a temporary stopgap of relief. When companies hire offsite administrative assistants, they improve efficiency, enhance focus and make the most of limited time.In fact, engaging a virtual assistant on a part-time basis can add up to the equivalent of a full work week of time gained per month. Click To Tweet
Imagine: Paying a virtual assistant to work for 10 hours per week may add up to 40 hours of compensated time per month. But the total value may greatly exceed both the investment and the official logged time.
Here are just a few ways a VA helps:
1. Travel Arrangements:
It can take hours for the average person to book travel. From researching hotels and securing rental cars to aligning other logistics and booking flights, coordinating trips is no small task.
2. Email Management:
According to some estimates, workers spend more than six hours a day checking emails. Other studies show that it takes up 28 percent of an employee’s time. Virtual assistants shoulder the burden of email, acting as air traffic controllers of clients’ inboxes.
3. Meeting Coordination:
Many topics addressed in meetings can be handled via a qualified intermediary who negotiates communications among involved parties. Middle managers spend more than one-third of their time in meetings, whereas senior leaders spend about half of their work time in them. VAs can be great mediators in this manner.
Stats and research show that work demands are clearly increasing, even amid technologies that promised to ease burdens and enhance efficiency. For these reasons and more, it’s evident that VAs offer a relief valve worth exploring.
If you’re a leader, people manager or team member who needs to “Make Time for Work that Matters,” a virtual assistant can help you regain precious, priceless hours – time that benefits both the personal and professional spheres of life.