Corporate productivity in many organizations is based on time tracking. A new infographic about corporate productivity and “slacking” is generating some serious controversy.
The image, which claims that people spend about an hour a day “slacking” instead of contributing to corporate productivity, is featured below. You can also see it on the website of the software company that commissioned the graphic.
It’s hard to know where to begin. The creators of the image have written a follow-up post, so they are certainly aware of the negative reaction. Let’s hit the highlights:
Yes, we all want increased corporate productivity. But when the primary yardstick is “average working slacking”, the most likely impact is a decline in employee morale. Using a term like “slack” isn’t exactly going to increase employee satisfaction!
We know that measuring employee performance often backfires. That’s because the relationship between overall corporate productivity and micromanagement is like fire and water. The best way to ensure that people don’t get things done is to obsessively measure their progress.
This may be the oldest myth in business: that people who are at their desk are working. Of course, employee start times have nothing to do with corporate productivity.
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Broadly speaking, tracking time at work is more often the problem than it is the solution. Software tools that record what people are doing are easily turned by the kinds of business that ban sitting and walking too slowly. In every situation, we need to find ways to show employees that what’s most important is the overall corporate productivity generated in what they accomplish, not how they spend their time.
If you want to buy software like Desktime to improve your own productivity, go for it! But if you want to try to force your employees to be more productive, consider focusing on process and results rather than facetime and minutes. That’s the real benefit to customers and to workers alike.