5 Tips to Stay Focused at Work During a Personal Crisis

5 Tips to Stay Focused at Work During a Personal Crisis

 A personal crisis could strike any person at any time, and it doesn’t matter how stable or happy your life might otherwise be – the effects can be devastating. A personal crisis will be on your mind almost constantly, no matter how much you might want a break from it. You are also likely to take the problem to work with you no matter how hard you try to put on a brave face.

No matter how hard you might try to get your work done, it can be all but impossible to prevent other thoughts from creeping in and harming your productivity. Your performance at work can begin to suffer as you lose focus, potentially causing harm to your professional life. It’s a fairly common issue, and around 47% of employees say their performance at work is sometimes affected by their personal commitments.

If your professional life also takes a hit, then things will only get worse for you, making it essential for you to remain focused at work as much as possible. You can take steps to help you maintain your productivity at work as much as possible. 

Create a Schedule

 If you’re working without a specific goal in mind, it can be easy for your thoughts to distract you. Creating a schedule will help you keep focused on your work, helping you to work towards a goal rather than just working through the motions. 

To help keep your productivity on target, consider using time tracking software like the one from PK4 Tech to monitor your time. Time tracking software will help make it easier to tell when you are being productive and help you avoid wasting time. Knowing that you’re monitoring yourself can also help you focus on your work. 

Speak With Other People

Anybody going through a personal crisis should speak with other people. Meet up with somebody close to you and explain the situation and how it affects you. Also, listen for their feedback and advice and be prepared to hear some things you may not like.

However, this doesn’t mean you should speak with everybody about your problems. When at work, it’s best to limit what you say to other people. For one thing, telling colleagues about your situation keeps your head in the issue instead of giving you a chance to focus on something else.

Treat Going to Work as an Escape

When things are difficult in your personal life, going to work can be the ideal escape. Even the journey to and from work can help give your mind a break from what is upsetting you, and your mind will become even more occupied when you have a job to do.

There is also a social aspect to working with other people, making your job a convenient getaway. You can get involved with discussions not related to your personal commitments, whether they’re work-related or not. It can also be great to arrange a social outing with work colleagues although you should be careful not to overdo it, especially if you must work the following day.

Don’t Push Yourself Hard

You’re only human, so don’t put too much work pressure on yourself if you struggle sometimes. Instead, give yourself some space occasionally and don’t be hard on yourself if your productivity does take a hit.

It may take you a bit longer than usual to perform tasks, and things won’t improve for you overnight. However, beating yourself up about it won’t improve the situation and can make matters worse. Things will likely improve after a while, but you just have to let them through your system naturally. 

Limit Personal Contact

With a personal crisis going on, some people will likely want to call you regularly to get updates. Instead, it’s a good idea to set some limits and let people know that you’re at work and need to focus on your job.

Having people call you regularly to talk about your problem will cause you to keep thinking about it and perhaps even remind you about it when your mind has taken a break for a while. Unfortunately, it will also distract you from your work, potentially upsetting management and colleagues and increasing work pressure.

Try to limit calls to urgent matters only and, if needed, limit who has access to your number. You might need to turn your mobile phone off if the calls you’re receiving is harming your productivity.

Summary

Although most people will recover in time, there is no way to take away the pain and anguish of a personal crisis. In the meantime, it is essential to look after yourself, including looking after your professional prospects.

When going through a personal crisis, it’s important to focus on your work so your job is not adversely affected to the point where work pressure also becomes difficult to cope with. But, on the other hand, you will also need to acknowledge that you’re going through a difficult time and that you should not expect yourself to be firing on all cylinders.

Give yourself breathing space and time, use time tracking software, create a schedule, and set limitations on disturbances to help keep you focused. By focusing on your work, you’re helping to ensure you’re still in great condition when your crisis finally subsides.

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

How To Stop Employee Time Theft

Most employers would probably like to think that they can trust their employees and employees will be honest for the most part. However, we can never be entirely sure that the people working for us won’t take advantage if given the opportunity. Indeed, a study showed that 43% of employees who have filled in timesheets had exaggerated the length of time they worked. Studies have also shown that around $400 billion is lost every year in lost productivity in the United States, further highlighting the need to address the problem.

Employee time theft comes in several types, and not all of them are necessarily deliberate. Some of the most common include: 

  • Charging for time spent on personal tasks
  • Buddy punching is a practice that involves an employee’s co-worker punching in for them despite the employee not being at work. Buddy punching alone is thought to cost approximately $373 million alone every year
  • Employees deliberately adding extra time to their worksheets
  • Employees not clocking out for breaks
  • Field employees claiming to have been working but performing other tasks, or even staying at home instead
  • Accidentally overestimating time worked.

Time theft is a real problem for many companies, especially in times of uncertainty. However, one of the most significant difficulties companies face regarding employee theft is that it’s challenging to detect. Managers cannot monitor all employees at all times, especially where field workers are concerned, and honest errors can be particularly difficult to identify. However, you can take some steps to overcome the issue.

Establish Clear Policies

One way you can help overcome some of the issues is to put a deterrent in place. Your managers can let employees know that they’re aware of problems like buddy punching and that employees will be reprimanded if caught doing so. The act of bringing up the topic alone can avoid complacency among employees and deter them from punching in for friends. Make sure to be polite and respectful when reminding your employees about your policies, but also make sure that you’re firm. Acting on indiscretions will help to send the message that you will not tolerate time theft.  

Educate Management

Quite often, the signs of time theft are right in front of us, but we won’t spot them if we don’t know what we’re looking for. For example, what might appear to be a case of an employee working later than others could easily mean that they’re not being honest about their time sheet. After all, it’s a lot easier to be dishonest on your time sheets when there’s nobody around because they’ve already gone home for the day.

Educate Employees

In many cases, time theft might be down to misunderstandings that you can easily clear up with simple communication. You should also make it clear to employees when it’s reasonable for them to record to add time and when it isn’t. You can also educate your employees on the potential harm that time theft can cause businesses, potentially even placing their jobs and their colleagues’ jobs at risk.

Use Time Tracking Software

Software like the PK4 TimeTracker will help to ensure that time is tracked accurately and fairly. For example, the buddy punching system won’t work with time tracking software because employees have to be logged into their computers or on their own mobile devices to track time. The system also helps prevent forms from being filled in erroneously, while it also helps management see which tasks their employees have been working on.

Time tracking software will also help ensure time is recorded accurately for field workers. The time tracking app can record an employee’s location through GPS, so you know they were in the right place. The software is also easy for employees and managers to use, while reviewing and approving timesheets is also made simple, further helping to ensure accurately recorded time. 

Overall, time tracker software will help to empower teams to work better and be more productive. Time sheets will more accurately reflect work that has been done while also giving management access to helpful information such as how much time employees spent on particular tasks. Such information will help management see if time is being spent effectively, helping them make their teams more productive while also helping to reduce frustrations.

 

 

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

6 Tips For Maximizing Accountability And Trust In The Workplace

Are your employees committed, motivated and efficient? Or do you have to be that annoying boss constantly breathing down their neck?

Whether you like it or not, accountability is at the core of how things get done in the workplace. And if your team is lacking in accountability, you’ll have to fix it first thing. When people don’t care enough to take responsibility, this lousy attitude will spread to all aspects of your business.

But sometimes, a lack of accountability isn’t always the employee’s fault. It could be yours. Our 6 tips will help you identify where you can improve as a manager to have accountable, superstar employees.

1. Involve your employees in defining project goals

An intriguing study from Gallup states that more than half of employees don’t know what’s expected of them at work. Managers fail to clearly explain tasks and help employees set goals. And to make it worse, many employees don’t feel comfortable approaching their boss for help or assistance.

But if you create the kind of environment where you empower your team, the work atmosphere instantly changes. When setting goals for a project, ask your team if the goals are attainable and realistic and discuss a deadline that works for them and the company.

It’s easy for your team to stay accountable when they’ve been involved in the decision-making process.

2. Perfect your prioritization skills

Unclear priorities are just as bad as unclear tasks. When employees start pointing fingers, all accountability goes down the drain.

If you’re in a state of constantly putting out fires at work, you have to accept that you can’t do everything – and neither can your employees. So learn to focus on the most important things.

Work on your prioritization skills and allow more time than you normally would for important tasks because we often tend to grossly underestimate how long they take. Your team will stop feeling like they’re constantly behind, and this will boost their confidence and productivity levels.

3. Establish trust and empower your team

There’s nothing worse than a micromanaging boss. So don’t be that guy (or gal). Here’s how you can change your team management style for the better:

  • Balance your “constructive” criticism with praise
  • Acknowledge your own mistakes – hold yourself accountable
  • Lead by example

The best way to empower your team is to give them the freedom to solve problems in their own way. Allow for flexibility over their schedule, and you’ll have motivated employees that feel trusted and appreciated.

Especially during this time of widespread remote work, allowing your team to log work hours manually will encourage them to get things done on their own terms. You can do this, and much more, with our PK4 TimeTracker.

4. Leverage attendance and scheduling software

Another way to increase accountability in the workplace is through the use of attendance and scheduling software. Hold your employees accountable and make sure they arrive on time and work on what they’re supposed to be working.

Using a product like the PK4 TimeTracker can help you achieve this in a number of ways:

  • The Clock In (Kiosk mode) serves as a virtual time punching tool;
  • Workers with flexible schedules can log their hours within the time tracker app using the Check-In / Check-Out to mark the beginning and end of a work session;
  • As a team leader, you can easily manage your team’s project inside Time Tracker’s project management tool and approve or reject timesheets.

5. Keep an eye on your team and follow up frequently

Setting goals is exciting, but that’s just the beginning. Your role as a team leader will include checking with your team frequently.

Maybe you have a bad apple in your team – a toxic employee that’s bringing everybody down and hurting the team’s accountability. Or perhaps one of your employees is falling behind because of personal issues at home. It’s your duty to be aware of all these things.

Follow-up is essential to a project’s success, and many employees are happy to have their manager follow up on their tasks. It gives them a chance to ask questions or show off their progress.

6. Give honest feedback

If you’re the kind of manager who hates confrontation, you won’t like giving honest feedback to your employees. Because, inevitably, some of your employees will need some tough love.

But if you get over your nerves, you’ll soon learn that providing frequent and candid feedback will make you a better manager. Show your employees where they can improve, but try to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Your team members will act more accountable if they feel like their boss genuinely cares about their success.

Accountability isn’t just about owning your mistakes. It’s about taking responsibility for your work, knowing your role in the company, and proactively striving to get better. The best way to inspire accountability within your team is to practice it yourself.