How to eliminate inefficient use of working time in the company

24 June 2024

According to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, working time is an 8–hour period during which a person who has concluded an agreement with an employer is obliged to stay at the workplace and perform their professional duties. Most employees have no problems with being on site: they can be fired for an obvious absence. But the assessment of productivity during the working day goes beyond the legal framework, which generates inefficiency in the use of working time. It is rare to find employees who would perform exclusively professional duties throughout the entire 8 hours.

What do employees spend their working hours on?

Working hours

Opinion polls by independent agencies have revealed that:

  • 64% of respondents spend time depending on the workload, i.e. sometimes they are more closely involved, but it happens that for reasons beyond their control there are interruptions;
  • 20% take breaks 2-3 times a day (lunch break is not included here);
  • 12% are interrupted on their own initiative once a day;
  • 4% noted that they have practically no work at work, they rest all 8 hours.

In fact, a short break during the day is not prohibited by law. 85% of respondents say that after a coffee break, their performance improves. Micro-interruptions are usually regulated within the enterprise. It is not difficult to track their compliance: it is enough for the head to go through the departments.

It is much more difficult to identify idlers if they are concentrating on computers. Studies have also been conducted in this regard, which have revealed that:

  • 20% of employees are constantly «sitting» on social networks;
  • Another 17% of employees are engaged in reading the news;
  • There are 15% visitors to virtual stores;
  • There are 11% «hanging» on betting sites;
  • 10 work additionally;
  • 9% are playing;
  • 6% select vacation tours;
  • 8% openly «kill» the day – watch movies, videos on YouTube, read, look at porn sites.

Each employee is distracted during the working day for 60-180 minutes, which results in an average loss of 25% of the time.

The reasons for the inefficient use of working time


The loss of time occurs for many reasons, which can be grouped into two groups: personal and work. Personal ones include:

  • delays;
  • frequent smoke breaks or coffee drinking;
  • premature retirement from work;
  • professional burnout, in which it becomes difficult for an employee to get together, concentrate, etc.;
  • hanging up on the Internet;
  • family problems;
  • lack of coordination, low level of self-organization.

Workers include:

  • power outages;
  • disruption of the supply of resources;
  • frequent meetings;
  • congestion;
  • a distraction to solve issues not related to the performance of official duties.

What is the purpose of working time control?

In order to reduce time losses, and with them production losses, it is necessary to rationalize the distribution of work hours, i.e. eliminate everything that leads to its waste.

The man at the laptop

And this can be done by establishing strict control over:

  • when employees come to the office, go home, do they leave the offices during the day;
  • how often and what do employees get distracted by;
  • are deadlines being met or are they constantly being disrupted;
  • are employees working overtime and for what reason;
  • who spends and how many hours solving tasks that are not related to work or the performance of their duties.

At the same time, each employee will have to be monitored.

Control methods

They can be divided into two groups:

  • controlling discipline;
  • controlling the detailed filling of work hours.

To track violations of discipline will help:

  1. Organization of the access system. It can be made automatic, in which the scanner reads the pass data or the biometrics of the employee. But you can put a watchman who will mark the hours of arrival and departure in the magazine under the painting.
  2. Installation of video surveillance at the entrance, in the corridors, at the entrance to the department. This technique also captures the appearance in the workplace and leaving work well. Cameras in the corridor will help you determine how often a person leaves his place and for what purposes.
  3. Timesheets in which a separate clerk (usually from the accounting department) notes the absence of a person at work (sick days, vacations, absenteeism), as well as records the total hours worked.
Control of working hours

Another group of monitoring methods will allow you to determine what the staff is doing on the ground during the day. It includes:

  1. Electronic time tracking systems. This is software that collects data about the workflow, analyzes it and outputs the result in the form of a report.
  2. Timing (timeline). During the day, an employee keeps a detailed record (for example, once every half hour) of what he did, for example: wrote a report, called clients, conducted research. Timekeeping can be performed manually or electronically. However, it is difficult to call the method highly effective, since it is based on the honesty of the employee, and this can not always be counted on. And the second point is that the staff has an additional distracting burden: to make a table, fill it out, send it to their superiors on time.
  3. Daily morning meetings. Each employee receives a task for the day in the morning, and the next morning must report on its completion. The method is effective provided that the tasks are reasonable and feasible.
  4. Spyware. The method is effective, but controversial from the point of view of the law. On the one hand, it allows you to monitor the behavior of an employee on the network, including correspondence, remotely take screenshots of the monitor screen, record conversations, including personal ones. But such programs violate the individual’s right to privacy of personal correspondence, which is fraught with court proceedings for the employer.

There are many controlling techniques, but each of them has disadvantages that reduce efficiency. At the same time, the introduction of one method will not help. For example, if you only automate the checkpoint, you can see when the staff comes and goes, but you can’t track what they do during the day. If you mark up cameras everywhere, it can create psychological tension in the team: It will be difficult for employees to concentrate when they are being watched everywhere. If you force people to keep time, it is difficult to verify the accuracy of the information.

Automatic accounting

The introduction of technologies that automate the control of the distribution of working hours is a way out of the situation, solving the problem of control without side difficulties. Automated control systems:

  • they will provide high-quality monitoring, since they are working in many directions at the same time;
  • ensure the objectivity of the data;
  • they will allow you not to spend money on the implementation of several methods;
  • they will free the staff from making additional reports.

What can an automatic control program do?

  1. Track the beginning and end of a person’s work based on data about turning on and off the computer.
  2. Identify overworked workers. This information can also be obtained from monitoring the tasks performed on the computer.
  3. Determine what each employee did during the day. To do this, the program will analyze which applications and Internet pages were opened.
  4. Record whether the employee is at the computer or not.
  5. Take periodic screenshots of the screen, which paints an objective picture of what the employee is doing.
  6. Removes the need to keep time sheets.

Application of the information received

Since the automated monitoring program not only tracks, but also summarizes the information received into a ready-made report, it is easy to install:

  • how busy are the staff;
  • employees who constantly violate labor regulations;
  • what distracts people from work;
  • total time spent by an employee or department when completing tasks;
  • those who successfully cope with the load.

Based on the information received, the head can:

  • to make a decision on punishing or encouraging distinguished employees;
  • identify individuals who imitate activities (such people tend to literally sabotage the work process by misleading colleagues and management, falsifying data, creating false reports confirming their activities, masking omissions, shortcomings and miscalculations)
  • find out which employees are overloaded and why (they take over everything or just don’t have enough qualifications);
  • to identify shortcomings in the organization of the work of departments and optimize them, for example, improper organization of office work delays the search for the necessary documents;
  • to abandon frequent planning meetings, submission of paper reports, which also take up several hours a week.

At the same time, the introduction of automatic control does not exert psychological pressure on staff due to constant surveillance, does not violate the secrecy of their personal lives, correspondence, and telephone conversations. It also allows everyone to look at themselves from the outside: many do not even realize how many hours they waste in the service. The data obtained with the help of an automatic system will not offend a decent employee, but, on the contrary, will mobilize. At the same time, they will allow to expose those whose efficiency is approaching zero and get rid of them.

How can FollowUP help


Our company has developed a convenient service based on artificial intelligence – Al-secretary (secretary program), and now adapts it to any type of business. Al-Secretary:

  • transcribes conversations (translates from audio format to text);
  • records agreements, tasks, deadlines and responsible persons;
  • sends the materials of the online meeting to its participants.

The transcription accuracy is 98%, which guarantees the safety of all information.

Our adapted developments are already being applied in the field of:

  • education, helping to record lectures highlighting important points;
  • media for creating transcripts and subtitles for videos;
  • recruiting, facilitating the selection of the most promising candidates;
  • designing for meeting records and decisions made;
  • marketing for the effective implementation of specialized tasks.

Our company guarantees the complete confidentiality of your negotiations: transcription and sammarization are performed on our servers and stored in secure databases.
After each video meeting or conference, the company’s employees have to spend several hours writing written reports. The introduction of an Al-secretary will eliminate one of the significant reasons for the inefficient use of working time.

Automatic summary of meetings in Zoom / Google Meets / Microsoft Teams