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Technical means of fixing procrastination issue.

Procrastination is one of the most dangerous “diseases” of our time. Of course, the habit of postponing business for later existed since time immemorial. But the 21st century made its first adjustments. With the advent of the Internet and social networks, “time killers”, distracting attention, became an order of magnitude more. Today, the average office workers, instead of starting to perform important tasks, “stick” in the monitor screen, chatting in the smoke, or looking for another reason to delay the beginning of the working day as long as possible.

Western studies show that about 20-25% of the adult population are procreators. At the same time 95% of polling participants admit that they are inclined to postpone cases.

It turns out that many procrastination justify their unwillingness to timely perform tasks by the fact that they work much more effectively under stress. Only if there is an external factor – a deadline, they can get together and quickly find the best solution to the problem. Unfortunately, the analysis has shown that such a statement is a self-deception. First, the quality of work under stress is inexorably reduced. And, it means that a serious layer of work will be performed with mistakes, in the least optimal way and of poor quality: endless changes and corrections can not be avoided. As a result, the time spent on a simple task will increase and it will inevitably lead to overstated costs for business. Secondly, the analysis of procrastination behavior patterns clearly demonstrates that regardless of the “stress factor” their behavior is characterized by lack of understanding of time management.

How much does procrastination cost for business? The United States has approached the question from different angles. At least 40 percent of the population was affected by deferred case syndrome: they faced significant financial losses due to late completion of various tasks. For example, by “forgetting” to pay taxes on time, Americans paid half a billion dollars in fines to the state budget. For the owner of a company, the “cost” of one procrastination ranges from 10-11 thousand dollars a year. This amount includes both the time spent on entertainment and the damage caused by poor quality work leading to the termination of contracts and penalties.

Considering the growth of freelancers and remote employees, the problem of remote work has entered a new round of evolution.  It’s hard to put things off when there’s a figure of a boss hovering behind your back looking at the monitor. The indignant look of colleagues suffering from a negligent employee also has healing properties.

Recently, all kinds of co-working services have started to appear to help remote personnel. The essence of their work is simple: if it is impossible to gather thoughts alone. A tandem of workers, which fix tasks and time of each other, has a positive impact on productivity. And thanks to the high-speed Internet and web-camera, it is not so difficult to bring them together.

It would seem that such a solution has only pluses and the solution is found. But the difficulties cannot be avoided. First, not every remote worker will agree to let an outsider into his personal space. Secondly, there is a risk of commercial information leakage: who knows, which work documents will accidentally fall into the field of view of the camera, through which the Visa watches. And, thirdly, the new method does not solve the problem of procrastination in medium and large businesses.

Modern personnel control systems take into account the problem of inefficient time management. And it is not only about the usage model, which implies the presence of a boss controlling the personnel, and employees, blindly performing their job duties.

One of the ways to apply the monitoring systems is to provide the personnel with direct access to work reports. Being able to analyze their actions, study their time consumption, find harmful “time killers” and compare the way they perform tasks with their colleagues increases personal efficiency. For example, in a company with a geographically dispersed team, they installed employee attendance software and conducted an experiment, giving the employees access to reports. As it turned out, in 3 months the productivity of office employees increased by 30% on average, and of remote employees – by 40% or more. The availability of graphical easy-to-interpret reports, allows the staff to quickly understand the actual data and draw appropriate conclusions.

The final result of the experiment was an improvement in the quality of work performed, optimization of time consumption and a 36% increase in sales. As a reward, management introduced additional financial motivation for KPI overperformance and increased the rate by 25%.

Technical means, combined with a competent system of rewards, helped to almost completely overcome the phenomenon of procrastination.



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