How to Help your Employees Manage their Working Hours

Subliminal Bias-Driven Challenges:

As you use Timesheet to continually review your employees' working hours, you'll know how much time your employees spend on low-priority, ineffective, or even unhelpful activities. The main challenge comes from people's subconscious bias drive and planning fallacy.

  • People often complain about time crunch after wasting time without reflecting on where the time was spent
  • Many people are accustomed to procrastination and some people watch too much TV
  • People search for coupons to save $5 on a meal, but it takes the same amount of time as a full lunch
  • People take on more work than they can afford and pretend to be surprised when deadlines aren't met

The average person is not a good time decision-maker, and studies have found that multiple biases can lead to poor decision-making and time management. One study found that employees could free up 20% of their time simply by being more disciplined in how they manage their time. This is a piece of reassuring news, for example, the average company employee receives more than 200 emails and text messages per day, and meetings take up 35% of the work week.


You can take these steps to help employees who are struggling with time management.

1. Identify the source of the problem (and minimize it)

Whether employees are caught up in the details of low-level priorities or overwhelmed by the workload, you can use Timesheet to gain insight into how employees spend their time at work to uncover the source of time management issues, which may be the first step of problem-solving.

Start discussions: Have conversations with employees to understand the source of their time management problems. For example, when employees complain that they don't have enough time to get work done and feel burnt out, provide comfort and help employees figure out which responsibilities have a higher priority and where they should focus their energy.

Minimize distractions: Identify and minimize distractions such as white noise levels or inefficient workspace configurations.

2. Clarify expectations and priorities

One of the best ways to ensure that individuals complete deliverables on time is to make expectations clear and emphasize them in meetings and one-on-one meetings as needed. Some examples of how you can do this include:

  • Use straightforward language and project timelines to communicate goals, deadlines, priorities, and task responsibilities
  • Talk about team culture when new members join. For example, emphasize that time management is important and that employees should be on time for meetings during onboarding.

3. Give a helping hand

Some employees may realize they need help with time management, while others may not. In any case, you can offer help and support to employees who seem to be struggling to manage their time. The following techniques are often effective:

  • Reach out to employees regularly and ask: "What can I do for you?"
  • Put employees in small teams and let them divide large deliverables into smaller and more manageable tasks.
  • Meet with individuals one-on-one to brainstorm ideas and develop plans to support more effective time management.

4. Exemplary behaviors and coaching of employees

Employees get time management tips from team leaders. When you come to meetings on time and deliver on your promises, they can see that you are practicing what you preach. Once you have determined that your employees are experiencing time management challenges, you can guide them to make appropriate changes in their own behavior through the MCR (Model, Coach, Request), which consists of the following steps:

  • Model: Leaders set an example in the behavior they want their employees to do so that employees see, understand, and believe in change.
  • Coach: Leaders assess employees' behavior and provide guidance, ideas, and plans to make change a reality.
  • Request: Leaders set expectations and hold employees accountable for making necessary changes in their time management behaviors.

5. Teach new technology

A great way to help employees better manage their time at work is to teach them how. Effective time management training includes methods for managing resources effectively and tips for staying organized. Training in the following three areas will greatly support efficient time management:

  • Planning and Prioritization: Learning how to plan and estimate the timing of key tasks helps employees predict how their day will go. Prioritizing can also help employees avoid chasing neglected deliverables.
  • Organizational Skills: It is necessary to organize time, and the space around you. A cluttered workspace can cause employees to waste time looking for lost items, which can lead to missed deadlines or late meetings.
  • Communication Skills: Training that focuses on improving communication skills teaches employees how and when to update their work progress.

Planning Fallacy Challenge:

The history of large construction projects highlights a tendency to predict optimistic or even unrealistic completion times. For example, the Sydney Opera House was completed 10 years after its original estimated completion date, while Montreal's Olympic Stadium was completed almost 13 years ago! Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not limited to commercial mega-projects, but mainly occurs in everyday life. Auto experts underestimate the time it takes to repair damaged cars. The new homeowners plan a housewarming party even before the unpacking is complete.

Worst of all, we keep underestimating the time it takes to complete a project, even though we know we might underestimate a deadline. Regardless of previous knowledge of how long it will take to complete a particular task, we rely on optimistic views and may predict completion dates ahead of deadlines, according to a study.

Optimism is not the enemy. The planning fallacy encourages many of us to start arduous projects because we underestimate the required time and effort. Ignorance is bliss, but it can lead to increased stress and guilt.

We often fail to meet deadlines, but deadlines are also why we get things done, especially for those who procrastinate, so how do we stay in tune with reality?


Break down projects into smaller pieces: If you break down large projects into smaller and more manageable pieces, it's easier to estimate completion time. You deserve recognition for the steps you take to achieve your bigger goals. Once the project is broken down into more granular steps, you can add up the time for each task to realistically determine a completion date. Review the deadline with historical data from Timesheet to ensure the deadline is reasonable.

Set clear objectives, track productivity and improve profitability
Streamline management. Boost productivity. Grow confidently.
All from
Contact Us Free Trial
Thank you!
We will get in touch with you shortly.
Email Address:
Company Website
Product of Interest:
Verification Code: