If time is money, then why does the average employee waste a full 28 days’ work every year? According to a recent employment survey, each of us spends almost a month per year procrastinating and time-wasting our way through the office grind. When we are working, less than 60% of our time is actually spent at full productivity.
Like it or not, every second of your working day has monetary value, and those minutes spent having a risky game of Candy Crush Saga or partaking in a spot of online shopping drive the value of your time right down. It’s not only wasting your time that loses you money at work, as there are common mistakes people make even when working like beavers that cause them to reduce their value.
Here’s the top 10 ways you’re losing money at work – read and avoid!
1. Not asking for a pay increase
This is the most obvious possible way to lose money. If you haven’t asked for a raise, you can’t really complain that you’re not taking home a bigger pay packet! Seriously, employers want to retain good staff. Provided that you don’t barge into your boss’s office with guns blazing and demand twice your current earnings, they’ll usually be open to a little negotiation if it means keeping you on board. If you never try, you’ll never know.
2. Working through your lunch
Only 21% of employees take official lunch breaks away from the desk. Which begs the question…why?! It’s understandable that we all want to prove our ability to perform and get as much work done as possible, but realistically, working through your lunch will burn you out and make you indulge in heavy daydreaming later in the day. Plus, working extra hours dilutes the value of your time, making your salary less and less lucrative with each lunch you work through. Really, stop doing it!
3. Taking ‘personal’ time
Would it surprise you to know that you’ve probably spent an average of 4 days checking your personal emails over the last working year? What about 3 days each of internet shopping, personal phone calls, checking social media, running errands and smoking? According to the same employment survey, we’re all guilty of wasting 19 days a year at work on personal things. That’s a whole lot of money-making time missed out on.
4. Prioritising poorly
Are you guilty of getting the smaller, more pleasant jobs done before you attack the big, headache-inducing problems? Like most of us, you probably prefer to tick lots of small things off your ‘to-do’ list rather than get your teeth stuck into one mammoth task. Sadly, you don’t need us to tell you that it’s the mammoth tasks that are the money-earners and that win the appreciation of your employer. To stop losing money, start prioritising.
5. Not getting yourself liked
Let’s face it, everybody has come across the kind of worker who loves nothing better than a whinge, has a bad attitude about being asked to do anything, doesn’t commit to their work, handles criticism horribly and yet still thinks they’re great at their job. In fact, the only thing these kind of workers are great at is not winning a pay increase. You don’t have to suck up or have a permanent fake smile glued to your face, but it’s the people who are hard-working and generally likable who get better monetary results.
6. Being too generous with the drink rounds
The next time someone calls you out for being a bit on the selfish side when it comes to making drinks, tell them that the average worker wastes 4 days brewing up cups of tea and coffee. That’s time you could be spending deal-making and money-making! Now, we all need a hot beverage or five to get us through the day, but don’t become a drinks maid if you don’t want to lose cash.
7. Chatting the day away
Apparently, we all waste five days' worth of time each year chatting to colleagues…oops! Water cooler moments are great, but they’re going to lose you money at work if taken too frequently or for too long.
8. Doing no role research
Do you know the current market value of your skills? If not, why not? Keeping your head in the sand and not finding out what average salary your role commands is a sure-fire way to lose money. If you’re savvy when it comes to salary knowledge and research what you should expect for your responsibilities, you’re that bit more empowered to negotiate your salary.
9. Surfing the internet
In a not so shocking statistic, 64% of employees visit non-work related websites each day. The outcome of this, is course, is that we often end up spending money at work rather than making money. As undeniably fabulous as the internet is, it’s a major distractor and wastes time that could be spent earning.
10. Not looking to find a new job
Finally, not looking for a new job can be a killer way to lose money. If you don’t know what opportunities are out there in the current job market, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Finance jobs, for instance, are currently offering lucrative remuneration packages, as are jobs in IT. In a period of growth, we have a buoyant market with rising wages, and if you don’t keep abreast of trends and apply for those killer roles you risk your income remaining static.
So, good luck avoiding these 10 costly mistakes and happy money-making!
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