8 time management statistics every business should know in 2023

Time management—it’s something that we hear all the time. And if we’re being honest, it’s something we could all probably stand to be a bit better at.

Time management can have a profound impact on our productivity, especially in the workplace. And we’ve got some surprising stats to prove it.

Keep reading as we cover the basics around time management and why it matters for your business. And of course, we’ll share some of our favorite tips and tools to elevate your team’s time management skills in no time.

What is time management?

Put simply, time management is the art of optimizing your time to achieve your goals. 

We all have a limited number of hours in a day—24 to be exact. And there’s only so much time we can dedicate to work and other activities. While we can’t make more hours in the day, we can take steps toward making the most of that time. 

Time management uses careful planning and prioritization to help divide your time between all the different things on your to-do list.

While we all like to believe that we manage our time well, the truth is that most of us don’t. Especially when it comes to the workplace. According to Forbes, between social media and other distractions, employees can waste as much as two hours a day at work.

Poor time management often slips through the cracks—especially when it seems like work is still generally getting done. But with a few time management improvements, just imagine what your team could accomplish if you leveled up your business’s time management skills.

Why is time management important?

Time management helps us work better and smarter. But when businesses don’t prioritize time management, it can have a significant impact on employee productivity and overall business operations. 

When time management isn’t a priority, it can create:

  • High levels of stress and burnout: When employees and teams don’t manage their time well, productivity takes a hit. This means goals can take much longer to reach than expected. A growing to-do list and the stress of not meeting expectations is the perfect storm for creating employee stress and burnout. 
  • Inefficient employee scheduling: When time isn’t being managed properly, you can’t get an accurate grasp on the time it takes to complete tasks. This makes creating optimal schedules difficult, often resulting in over or understaffing shifts.
  • Increased operating costs: It’s true what they say—time is money. Wasted time and resources can cost you a pretty penny. When employees aren’t producing what’s expected of them during their scheduled hours, it can cost businesses in overtime and extra working hours. 

Fortunately, investing time into time management can help your team get ahead.

The benefits of good time management

When there are 100 things on the go, it can be difficult to carve out the time for time management. It can often feel counterproductive—like it’s eating up precious time that you don’t have.

But the time you take to plan and re-prioritize can be game-changing and help you get more done faster. 

Here are some ways small businesses can benefit from practicing good time management skills.

    • Saved labor costs: Making better use of time means that businesses can achieve more in less time. According to a Homebase customer survey, 1 in 8 small business owners have cut down costs to save over the last six months. Many have opted to limit inventory, services, or hours of operation to account for inflation and other rising costs. These types of cuts can impact revenue. But if you can get more done with the same or less labor, you’ll save without impacting your customers.
    • Better job satisfaction: Most employees want to put their best foot forward at work. Proper time management can help them do better work. Employees are also happier and more content with their role if they feel that sense of accomplishment—which can also cut down on employee turnover.
    • Improved customer experience: Efficient teams can respond to customers quickly and more effectively. This helps build better relationships with current and future customers.
    • Stronger team culture: When teams collectively believe in working smarter, not harder, employees are less likely to feel burnt out. It also builds a culture where employees work together toward a common goal, which can cut down on toxic workplaces. When employers prioritize time management, it shows that they’re looking for ways to reduce unnecessary work for their employees.

8 time management stats to help you improve your time management

Time management helps build winning teams and grow successful businesses. 

Don’t believe us? These stats about time management make it clear that time management is a must for every small business.

Labor is the number one cost for businesses, accounting for 70% of spending

Labor costs are what you pay for your employees’ time. With labor being one of the highest costs for small businesses—it can account for up to 70% of spending—time is one of your most valuable assets. That’s why it’s so important that it doesn’t go to waste. And yet…

The average worker spends 51% of every workday on low to no-value tasks

Low or no-value tasks are things that don’t contribute in a meaningful way to your overall business goals. These tasks can often be repetitive or redundant, yet take up over half of the average employee’s workday.

For example, a restaurant employee who’s taking inventory of takeout containers for the sixth time today is performing what could probably be considered a low-value task. 

Overstaffing and lack of direction can often lead employees to spend their time on low-value work.

Imagine how much more your team could accomplish if that time were reallocated to things that could actually propel your business forward.

“Will it make the boat go faster?” In a book by popular keynote speaker, Ben Hunt Davis, he shares the approach that helped the Great Britain Rowing team row themselves to Olympic Gold. 

After years of doing the same thing and achieving mediocre results, they realized their ultimate goal was to make their boat row faster. So the team started asking themselves one all-important question: “Will it make the boat go faster?”  

Any time the answer wasn’t yes, the team would take it off their activity list.

We may not all be Olympians, but the same principles can be applied to the workplace. When evaluating what your team is spending their time working on, consider asking yourself, “Does it make the boat go faster?” or alternatively, “Does this bring us closer to our goals?”. 

If the answer is no, it might be time to reconsider if it’s worth doing at all.

82% of people don’t have a time management system

Most of us recognize the importance of time management, but few of us put the systems in place to make it happen. 82% of individuals don’t have a structured time management system in place.

A time management system is a process or approach to managing your time. It’s a proven method of helping you divvy up tasks and prioritize them based on your goals. Some common examples of time management systems include the Eisenhower matrix and the Pomodoro method. 

Have we piqued your interest? We’ll cover both of these in detail below.

The average person checks their phone 96 times a day 

We all love to roll our eyes at those pesky screen time reminders. But this number shows that we probably need them. Whether we’re checking our emails or social media, this equates to us reaching for our phones approximately every 10 minutes

Our phones provide so much value and can help us be productive. But they can also be a major source of distraction. If employees are spending hours of their work day scrolling through Instagram or texting their friends, that’s a lot of time lost on your company’s dime.

Meetings cost companies of all sizes millions of dollars a year

We’ve all had those meetings, you know, the ones that could have been an email. Turns out those meetings are pretty expensive—costing small companies up to $2.5 million a year.

Of course, there are situations where meetings can be valuable. But as a general rule of thumb, meetings can be extremely inefficient. This is especially true in businesses with hourly and shift workers where gathering the entire team can get pretty tricky.

Instead, use a team communication platform to easily get critical information to the right people without gathering everyone in a meeting.

The average employee spends up to 9% of their year switching between different apps

Yikes—that’s almost 200 hours a year dedicated to navigating between platforms at work. This doesn’t even account for the time that our brains spend context-switching during the day.

Taking advantage of app integrations and other solutions can help your team reduce the amount of time spent going back and forth between different tasks and apps.

Stop paying the toggle tax. Using all-in-one platforms like Homebase can help streamline your workflows. Whether you’re creating employee schedules, running payroll, or onboarding new hires, Homebase has everything you need to manage your team—all in one place. So you can spend less time moving between apps and more time growing your business.

20% of workers say they waste time at work because they’re bored or aren’t interested in their jobs

If employees are bored and unstimulated, they probably aren’t making the most of their time at work. Boredom can happen because they aren’t engaged in their work or they simply don’t have enough work to do.

Bored employees might spend time on their phones or chatting with other employees during their shifts to pass the time. And as you can probably guess, these employees are typically less productive and produce lower-quality work. With 20% of employees wasting time out of boredom, it can cost a pretty penny.

1 in 4 businesses want to invest in operational efficiency in 2023

We love to see small businesses investing strategically to help set themselves up for future success. According to a recent Homebase survey, improving operational efficiency is an important growth strategy for small businesses this year.

When a company uses its resources efficiently, it can reduce waste and save money. A large part of operational efficiency is making sure that their team and resources ) are being used effectively—without affecting the quality of output.

Investing in time management is just one way that businesses can get closer to achieving operational efficiency.

How you can improve time management in your business

The numbers don’t lie: time management is a common struggle among businesses of all sizes. But the good news is that it’s a problem that can easily be solved with the right time management strategies and tools.

Unlock more time for your team with these tips for improving time management skills within your business.

1. Define your business goals

You can’t properly prioritize your time if you don’t know what you’re working toward. Effective time management requires you and your employees to have a solid understanding of your objectives.

Business goals can range from improving revenue, raising customer satisfaction rates, or even building brand recognition. 

Understanding how their day-to-day tasks ladder up to overarching business goals can also build a sense of purpose among employees. Clarity around business objectives can also lead to higher rates of job satisfaction and employee happiness.

2. Conduct regular time audits

A lot of teams fall into the trap of not really knowing what they’re spending their time on. And as a business owner, you deserve to know where your money is going.

Regular time audits can give you insight into what your team is working on within a given period of time. With a time audit, you use time tracking to get a detailed log of what everyone is doing.

The goal here isn’t to micromanage your team—and trust us when we say that won’t help improve productivity. Rather it’s to get a better understanding of work habits and how you can better use your employee’s time. 

Time audits can answer questions like:

  • What tasks are taking up most of your team’s time?
  • How long does it take to complete a specific task? And are you allocating too much or too little time for it?
  • Are there projects that aren’t worth spending time on?
  • Are there higher-value tasks or projects your team could be working on?
  • Are there any time trends and patterns that need attention?

By regularly performing time audits, you can also track efficiency improvements over time.

Time-tracking tools like Homebase make it easy to track the hours your team works and conduct audits. With Homebase’s free time clock app, employees can easily clock in and out, right from their phones. A more accurate time tracking system gives you better control over the time your team spends at work and the associated labor costs. 

3. Implement time management techniques and systems

For most folks, time management doesn’t come naturally. It can take a bit of time and practice to get to a point where you’re using your time well.

Of course, you theoretically could manage your time in your head. But time management systems are structured processes that are proven to improve your productivity. They’re tools that make the task decision-making process easier and help you stay productive.

Time management systems also foster a sense of transparency among teams. It makes it clear who’s doing what and why, which contributes to a sense of belonging and a culture of teamwork.

Not sure where to start? Here are some popular time management systems you can try with your team.

Eisenhower Matrix

This system divides your tasks into 4 quadrants that help you determine what tasks to prioritize. 

Depending on which quadrant your tasks fall in, you can either tackle them now, delegate, or push them to a later date.

Urgent Not Urgent
Important This quadrant includes tasks that are high-value but are also time sensitive. 

You should prioritize the items here.

This quadrant includes tasks that are important but do not have an immediate deadline.

You can push these tasks to a later date.

Not Important These tasks are less important but have time constraints.

Consider delegating these tasks to someone else.
These tasks aren’t important and aren’t urgent.

Your time is better spent elsewhere. Deprioritize these tasks for now.

Pomodoro method

The Pomodoro technique helps minimize distractions and keep employees focused. The system prioritizes scheduled, intermittent breaks.

For example, an employee will focus on work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break.

By scheduling breaks, it’s easier to avoid employees checking their phones every 10 minutes. If they know they’ll have 5 minutes to do it later, it can help them stay focused on the task at hand.

Time blocking

Especially in fast-paced environments, like restaurants or retail, a lot is going on at once. It’s easy to find yourself pulled in 100 different directions. Time blocking helps your team focus on one thing at a time.

With time blocking you start with a list of tasks. Then you estimate how long each task will take and assign a block of time where you’ll work on that specific task.

Time blocking creates a concrete schedule. This reduces the need for context switching and makes it easier to avoid distractions and interruptions, like emails or other minor tasks.

Employers with hourly employees can build the concept of time blocking directly into employee schedules. By assigning specific tasks and roles ahead of time, employees can stay focused on higher-value tasks during their shifts.

4. Prioritize effective scheduling

To an extent, you can empower your employees to manage their time while on shift. But how you schedule your employees is critical for setting them on the path to success at work. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a bunch of employees sitting around twiddling their thumbs—and no one wants that.

Here are some things that you can do to effectively schedule your employees.

  • Factor in sales and customer volumes. Make sure that you’re scheduling the right number of employees based on the expected work. Overstaffing often creates situations where employees are stuck working on low-value tasks. On the other hand, understaffing can cause employees to go into avoidable overtime and result in a lower quality of work.
  • Provide clear shift details, including start time, end time, and scheduled breaks. This can help employees show up on time and better manage their time during their shifts. Advanced notice and flexible scheduling can also help improve employee morale and satisfaction, which in turn impacts productivity.
Scheduling tip: Make the most out of your employees’ time with Homebase. Homebase’s scheduling app can help you automate employee schedules based on employee availability and sales forecast. 

The best part? You can import sales data to get detailed insights into your labor hours compared to your sales and targets. So you can optimize your schedules as your team gets better at managing their time at work.

5. Automate tedious and repetitive tasks

Business owners and employees often find themselves working on tedious and time-consuming tasks. Where possible, consider implementing tools and technology to free up that time for more important tasks.

For example, payroll and time tracking can be something that takes up a lot of time for business owners. Instead, say goodbye to manual tracking and use an all-in-one automated employee management platform. Built-in automations and integrations will save you time, and reduce the need for constantly moving between a bunch of different platforms.

“With Homebase, we are able to give our small business the structure it needs. From scheduling to time tracking, we are able to organize our team, budget for our labor costs, and organize our calendar in a very efficient manner. And the best thing is how versatile and easy to use it is! As a business owner, I totally recommend it to anyone who is looking to save time and organize their business.”

  • Sarah, Owner at Sarahlú Confections, Homebase Customer

The same principles apply to your employees as well. Use technology and tools to make it easier for them to spend their time on higher-value work. For example, sending out communications using a team communication app is an easy way to save on unnecessary meeting hours.

6. Minimize distractions

We live in a world of distractions, particularly those of a digital nature.

Getting distracted is normal—we’re only human after all. But when we’re interrupted, we tend to lose our focus. It can take a lot of energy for distracted employees to return to their work.

By minimizing distractions in the work environment, it’s easier for employees to stay on track with the task at hand. 

Some ways to minimize employee distractions include:

  • Limiting personal phone use while on the clock
  • Providing regular breaks to help employees stay focused
  • Setting shift goals to give employees something to work towards
  • Keeping workspaces clean and organized

Simplify time management with Homebase  

If time management feels a bit daunting—we get it. But we promise that the time and energy you invest in time management for your team is worth its weight in gold.

Plus, we’ve got a not-so-secret weapon that will make managing your employees’ time a breeze: Homebase.

Homebase is trusted by over 100,000 small businesses to better manage their employees.

Make scheduling hassle-free by creating employee work schedules in just a few minutes. Assign roles and schedule based on sales forecasts, so you’re making the best use of your employees’ time while they’re on the clock.

And when it’s time for their shifts, our time clocks give you the confidence of knowing exactly who’s clocking in, when, and where. You can also track sales against hours worked so you can get the insights you need to optimize your labor costs.

And of course, we’re here to help you empower your employees to take control of their own time management from day one. Documentation, including time management resources, can be sent directly to employees in their digital welcome packets.

Need help with time management?

Get Homebase, and start optimizing your time with top-rated scheduling, time clocks, messaging, payroll, HR, and more. Get started for free

Time management FAQS 

What is time management?

Time management is a combination of planning and prioritization that helps you make the most of your time. The goal is to achieve your goals as efficiently and effectively as possible. Typically, time management includes balancing urgency and impact to help prioritize all the things that need to get done.

Why is time management important to businesses with shift workers?

Time management is important for shift workers and hourly employees because they’re paid based on their time spent at work. So if time is being wasted or used inefficiently due to poor time management, businesses can quickly incur additional costs to make up for the additional work.

How can you improve your time management?

To improve time management, it’s essential to start by understanding your overall business goals. After which, you can implement time management systems to help you and your employees prioritize tasks and activities that will help you achieve those goals.

Better employee scheduling, more automation, and regular time audits are all ways businesses can improve time management skills within their teams.

Can an app help you make time management easy for your employees?

Yes—an app can help you make time management easier for your team! Incorporating apps and technology are some of the best ways to improve how your team uses their time. You don’t need to figure out time management all on your own. Businesses love apps like Homebase that help streamline employee scheduling and time tracking. It helps save on labor costs and frees up time for tasks that bring more value to the business.

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