HR & Management

Time management mistakes costing companies millions

2 min read

31 December 2017

With the hope of saving SMEs money in 2018, STL Microsoft Training highlighted some of the costliest time management mistakes.

“Time management is an important skill for all professionals, no matter their corporate level,” the business made clear. However, it’s often difficult to identify the mistakes we’re making, not to mention improve on them. It’s exactly for this reason that STL rounded up nine of the most common time management errors.

Picking easy tasks, poor prioritisation and social distractions all make the list. However, arguably the costliest mistake is pointless meetings.

Everyone in the company has a role to fulfil, with certain goals to achieve by the end of the week. Prioritising meetings can disrupt deadlines and tasks. Worst of all, STL concludes, the majority prove unproductive.

Its analysis found that the average SME employee attends 207 meetings every year, of which 139 never reach a conclusion. The Harvard Business Review Meeting Cost Calculator also suggests that employers pay £28 for every hour spent per employee in a meeting.

“So if a meeting lasts an hour,” STL proclaimed, “it amounts to £5,796 for every employee annually. An SME has up to 250 employees. This means that in total, time-wasting meetings could be costing small and medium companies £973,000 a year. And this doesn’t take travel time, transport fees and external expenses into account.”

There’s a way around this though. Always set a clear agenda and ensure only those that truly need to attend are there.

Could some of them just receive a brief email summary or quick call afterward?” STL said. “Also, schedule a 30 minute meeting instead of an hour. Meetings are usually stretched out to fill the allocated space. And way too much time is spent waiting for people to arrive and repeating what has already been said.”

Procrastinating, not taking breaks and saying yes too often can also prove damaging.

Below is an infographic created by STL, which delves into the other eight management mistakes and sets out ways for them to be avoided.

The eight biggest time management mistakes and how to avoid them