Category Archives: News

Music doesn’t increase your productivity (but it helps you get more stuff done)

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Listening to music at work is still an individual thing – one can find it helpful, while others, disturbing. Yet, various studies claim that it’s able to boost overall workplace performance.

In a survey by Spotify, respondents admitted that music helps them do more because it creates a relaxing state, which makes them less nervous and fatigued, more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.

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Top 24 unproductive applications of 2014 and what that tells us

We recently pulled out the statistics of the most-used unproductive applications so far used in 2014. Some of the results are predictable, like social networks like Facebook and Youtube taking the top spots. Other results show us a change in working dynamic, for example, that Gmail is marked as a top unproductive app. Check out the rest:

Social media is dominating our work lives

Of the top 24 unproductive apps, 5 of those are social networking sites. Facebook, the undisputed leader of unproductive time spent at work, being by far the largest piece of the pie. Together, time spent on social networks accounts for about half of all of the unproductive time spent at work.

As social media takes an increasingly large role in our daily lives, it’s more relevant than ever that companies consider their policies on social media. One side of the debate maintains that time spent on social media is wasting company time, and therefore company money. Another side of the debate considers web surfing on social media as a necessary break throughout the day, saying that employees can’t be expected to be constantly engaged and productive for 8 hours straight.

It is not the presence of the technology itself that influences productivity but how it is used –Bulkey & Van Alstyne, 2004 

In this study by Bulkey and Van Atstyne, they conclude that using social media itself isn’t what’s unproductive, rather than the reasons for using it. For example, social media can be beneficial for sharing information, gathering knowledge, networking and communicating with customers.

Email is no longer considered productive

The fact that enough people have designated email as unproductive application is a telling sign. It used to be that being in your email was a symbol of productivity. And while it is a helpful tool for communication, and can at times be very productive, recent tendencies in the workplace are showing people’s addiction to email, constantly checking, etc.

However the latest productivity specialists suggest that constant email checking is a habit that decreases productivity, as it pulls you out of a certain task, and you’re not left with a long enough stretch of time to delve deeply into your work. A study by Altos Origin says 40% of employee time is spent working on internal emails alone. Productivity experts say that 80% of those emails are a waste of time, bringing no value to the company.

Suggestions and best case practices offer creating a habit to limit email checking time to a few times per day, and working on them in batch. Other suggestions suggest to avoid email first thing in the morning, and rather tackle the day’s most important task right off the bat.

Some research shows that those employees who use social media throughout the day produce the same amount of results as those who do not, due to the mental break that it allows, and the resulting spur of productivity that occurs from a rested mind.

Video-watching at work is a thing

According to a study, 64% of employees watch videos at work. Our collected data shows that within the top unproductive applications you’ll find Youtube, Netflix and Hulu. This brings video-watching at work to 23% of all wasted time.

Similar to the argument on social media usage, breaking and relaxation is a necessary part of the working day to rest the mind so that the employee is able to return to their work at a higher level of productivity.

Food for thought

The working climate around us is changing. It’s up to you how you manage your time and build habits. A manager or business owner will have to decide on the policy on social media, email communication and leisure time at work. Will it be

Employees want to have fun as well. Besides social media, top visited unproductive applications include sites that are just plain fun(ny), like 9gag, imgur, and even just a site to play puzzles and logic games. We can see that employees are looking for entertainment throughout the day.

New Feature – Archiving Employees to Pay Less and See More

Now account owners and administrators have it even easier – they can archive employees when there will be an extended period of absence, so that the company doesn’t have to pay for the employee while they’re away, and so that they don’t affect the company’s productivity statistics.

Archive employees when you know they’re coming back

Situations when you would wand to use the employee archiving function is when you have an employee that will have an extended period of absence, but you know that they’re coming back. Situations when you might want to archive an employee:

  • the employee has gone on maternity or paternity leave
  • the employee is going on a sabbatical
  • the employee is a contractor who works with your company periodically, but not constantly

You don’t pay for archived employees

When an employee is archived, they’re no longer part of the amount of employees you’re paying for monthly. This way your company can avoid paying for inactive employees.

Archiving employees

Archive employees to keep them out of your reports

The benefit of archiving employees (besides not having to pay for them) that you know won’t be showing up at work for a while, is that they won’t be constantly showing up in your reports as “absent”, and messing up your statistics. Their data will still show up in previous months when they had been active. At any point it’s possible to restore an archived employee. That can be done at the sample place the employee was archived – under “settings”->”employees”. Have any questions? Be sure to get in touch at support@desktime.com!

The easiest way to update your Chrome extension

It’s been a tumultuous month in regard to tracking websites through the Chrome browser. We’re glad to announce the final, and easiest way to track your time using Chrome. It involves installing the Chrome extension, you can get it in two places.

The simplest way to install the Chrome extension

We made a dedicated page where you can find the button to install the Chrome extension. Simply go here, and you’ll find it. Once you get there, click the big green button. You’ll be asked if you want to add the extension, and you should choose “Add”. It will look like this:

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DeskTime API – Now Available

The time has come that DeskTime has made an API available for your integrating needs. What does this mean? It means that you can now extract the data collected by DeskTime, and integrate it to any of your already existing systems. There are so many ways that you could do this, that I won’t even bother listing examples.

If you don’t know what an API is, let me tell you. It’s an Application Programming Interface. If you still don’t know what that is, then this blog post won’t help you – get your tech person to keep reading 🙂

If you want to take advantage of the API, you can find the documentation in our FAQ section, here. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so bear with us.

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@desktime.com

 

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Customized Starting Times!

We’re pleased to announce that we’re implementing the most requested new feature – customized/changable starting times and work hours for employees!

Now you can manage different shifts, part-time employees, and generally manage your employees’ start times so that if fits your company’s needs.

How to do this, you ask?

First, click on your “settings” tab. Then, go to your “employees” tab, and click on an employee’s name, to be taken to their profile.

You’ll then be able to change two settings.

1) You can change the amount of hours they should work in a day (the default is set to 8 hours).

2) You can change the start time next to “Workday starts at ….”

This is what it looks like:

You can change each employee’s work hours individually. Some features to look out for in the future: customized starting times for entire “employee groups”

This feature is just being released, so if you find any bugs or have any suggestions to improve this feature, don’t keep it to yourself – let us know! You can write to us at support@desktime.com

Happy time tracking!