14 Mar Small Businesses and the Resource of Time
Is Your Small Business Suffering From a Time Shortage?
The typical small business owner knows all too well that time is a vital, costly resource. This belief often leads to owners overworking themselves and employees with too much to accomplish during their 9-5. For many business owners, being “too busy” comes with the territory. In fact, many consider it a bragging point. In actuality, it’s a bad thing. Sure, you may be making more sales and profit in the short-term, but being too busy can have long-term negative effects on your business and health.
Working Longer Hours Doesn’t Increase Productivity
Recent studies have found that working more than 40 hours per week affects productivity – and not in a good way. The studies found that when workers hours were increased by 50%, their productivity was not proportionate. The expected outcome was that productivity would increase by 50% as well, but in fact, it only increased by 25%. That means workers were getting less work done with more time.
Working Less Is Actually Better for Business
Behavior analysts have thought for some time now that working too much is bad for you. It seems like common sense, but companies continue to push their employees to work long hours every day. But shorter hours actually make for happier employees, and happier employees make for better business.
You may have heard that Sweden recently elected to try out a six hour work day. While the final results won’t be released until 2016, the current effects look good. Nurses in an elderly home have been taking less sick time and feeling less stressed. A Toyota service center has had a six-hour workday in place for more than 10 years, and in that time, profits increased substantially.
Looking at the Work Week in a Different Light
Our society is heavily focused on workload. Business owners tend to respect employees that spend long hours working – and not necessarily the ones who offer the best performance. It’s just the way our working world has shaped us. Another study found that 39 of the participating managers favored employees who worked longer. They described them as “responsible and dependable.” But long hours don’t necessarily make a person dependable; finishing a project and achieving good results does. Small business owners and bosses should rethink how “success” is measured in the workplace.
Outsourcing Time-Consuming Tasks
Of course, that change is going to take a complete rewiring of thinking patterns. In the meantime, outsourcing extra tasks is one of the easiest and most effective ways to refocus your workforce. Whether you’re feeling pulled in too many directions yourself or your employees are clocking long hours, outsourcing is an effective way to offset a few time-consuming duties. There are plenty of daily tasks that are notorious “time-eaters.” From data entry to payroll, bookkeeping, and beyond, these things are easy to outsource without compromising quality.
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