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4 Indications that Your Employees are Slacking Off

Are you an employer facing low employee productivity? Do you get the feeling that some of your employees are taking more time than needed to do their tasks?

4 Indications that Your Employees are Slacking Off

Does your sixth sense tingle when you are going through their timesheet? If yes, then maybe your employees are slacking off while at work. Here are 4 key indications to identify whether they are actually slacking off.

1. They are clock-watching:

Employees that are continually checking the time, spending inordinate amounts of time in the toilet, or punching out every day at the designated office end time, are probably clock-watching.

If your team members log out immediately when a regular workday ends, they are probably demotivated. In an ideal situation, your employees should be working longer or harder to finish essential tasks.

If they aren’t, then they are probably slacking off. You can motivate such individuals to value their time by setting time-bound goals to meet their work targets. 

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2. Poor body language

Monitoring a person’s body language is a great way to understand their state of mind, but you should know how to judge it. Actions such as shoulder shrugging, eye-rolling, and producing big sighs are signs of demotivation.

It may also be an indication that the employee is slacking off. You should confront such actions by questioning them and drill down to find the actual problem. Take actionable steps to prevent such actions from reoccurring.

3. Employees who do not pitch in

A motivated person will speak up when they have questions or have ideas. Such people are keen to pitch in and learn new things. They are eager to solve a problem and own up their mistakes.

However, if an employee is slacking off, you’ll notice a drop in communication levels. Or they’ll just follow orders instead of giving their suggestions or inputs.

To overcome such a scenario, you should ask your employees to be proactive, give feedback and inputs. You can also give them a few tasks that involve decision-making so that they contribute and communicate with others.

4. Are your employees “buddy punching”?

What is buddy punching? It is something that occurs when one of your employees punches another one in or out of shifts while at work, even if they are not actually present. Some of your employees may view this as a way to help their coworkers avoid the consequences of leaving early, arriving late, or log more work hours.

But, buddy punching is a type of fraud, and it can have a negative impact on your business’s bottom line. It also creates a culture of dishonesty in your company and can result in a poor customer experience.

How can you keep your employees from slacking off?

If you are an employer, these are a few ways to prevent your employees from slacking off:

1. Have regular check-ins with your employees

Regular check-ins with your employees allow all parties to form a clear idea about company goals and what your employees need to do to achieve them.

Have one-to-one meetings with the employees who report to you directly. Have a well-defined agenda in these meetings and set goal-oriented tasks that are measurable. 

2. Set clear expectations

An average worker is actually productive for just three hours in a day. Some unproductive activities that take up time are checking social media, reading news online, and having non-work-related discussions with their colleagues.

So should you take away the phones of your employees or block all non-work-related websites? Definitely not, but you need to set clear time-bound expectations on what you want each employee to achieve during a certain period of time.

3. Keep your employees accountable

There should be a process of accountability in your organization. If nobody holds them responsible, your staff may be less inclined to be diligent about their work commitments.

Assign a task, set a deadline, and let your team members know when you will be checking on them regarding progress. Doing so will help keep them accountable.


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