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How To Calculate Idle Time At Work

Ruslan Askarov

According to research by Harvard Business School in 2018, 78.1% of workers spend involuntary idle time weekly, costing their employers about $100 billion a year. So when employees are not productive, it can have severe implications for business owners and their organizations. Thus, it is good for businesses to always calculate their employees’ idle time at work. Besides, this gives an idea of how much time is being wasted on irrelevant activities. Keep reading to know how to calculate the idle time at work.


Why Is It Important To Calculate Idle Time

Minimizing idle time is vital if a company wants to avoid a drop in productivity and maximize its employee productivity over an extended period. In other words, every second your employees or machine stay inactive accounts for lost productivity in your organization. Therefore, it is vital to calculate idle time to identify the gap between your existing output productivity and peak productivity levels. Nonetheless, no employee or machine can function at 100% efficiency. Hence, some level of idle time is unavoidable. Therefore, the goal of every business owner is to reduce idle time. Besides, it is close to impossible to eliminate idle time within any business organization.


What Is Idle Time At Workflow

Idle time is the period of time that employees and machines are unproductive due to factors that may or may not be influenced by management. It also refers to the periods of time that powered-on computers are not being utilized. Utilized time reveals the employees who waste their active time on other trivial activities when there is a need to complete a task. A high idle time percentage indicates that workers spend more time on non-work-related tasks. 

More importantly, business owners need the idle time percentages to gain insight into correcting various business processes, including cost-control, scheduling, and workflow. Furthermore, there are three different types of idle time, and they are given as follows:

  1. Worker’s idle time percentage: refers to the number of times employees engage or do some other activities unrelated to work. It shows employee inactivity in the workplace.
  2. Machine idle time percentage: This indicates the interruption of the business process like a breakdown of equipment, delays in the supplies receipts, and many others.
  3. Computer idle time percentage: This type of idle percentage shows employees are not working on their computer systems during their work time. It reveals that computers remain idle when they are not being utilized. Additionally, summing up both the Idle time and desktop time equals time at work.

Note: Desktop time is the actual time spent on a system while using keyboard or mouse clicks.


Why An Employee Might Be Idle

There are times when an employee may be involved in irrelevant or unproductive activities in their workplace that will not contribute to their organization’s growth. And this can be due to one or more of the following reasons:

#1. Lack of Instructions:

  • From management.
  • From foreman
  • From planning

#2. Machine Break-down

  • Power failure
  • Improper maintenance
  • Lack of spares
  • Normal causes.

#3. Waiting for Workers:

  • Absenteeism
  • Staying away from the job,
  • Bad planning of workload.

#4. Lack of Materials:

  • Delays in procurement,
  • Heavy rejections.
  • In-balancing of production


How To Calculate Employee Idle Time

To calculate your employee idle time, subtract the actual work hours from the standard hours. The difference in the hours is referred to as idle time. Note that your employee’s total amount of time engaged in productive activity is the actual hours they worked. While the standard hours is the number of hours an employee has been scheduled to work or function and must therefore receive compensation


Alternative Solution

Many companies use timesheets and other time tracking apps to record their employees’ hours on projects, tasks, or clients. However, we recommend using reliable time tracking software like Monitask to track your employees’ idle time. This monitoring software tool will enable you to gauge your team’s efficiency and also improve on it. Furthermore, Monitask offers employee monitoring solutions to enhance efficiency, accountability, and productivity, across your team. 

The software is powerful, affordable, and easy to access. Thus, it makes a good fit for every business owner and manager who wishes to keep accurate, productive hours of their team. Sign Up for Monitask, so you can save money and time today!


Wrapping Up

Idle time in a company can reflect in various ways like downtime or waiting time, resulting in a drop in revenue. Businesses should take the appropriate steps to identify the cause of idle time amongst their team members and minimize it. Finally, even though we have several ways to reduce employees’ idle time within an organization, the best option remains using monitoring software tools like Monitask to track your employees’ productive hours. Click Here to sign up now!

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