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That’s why this article citing that workers spend over half their day doing unproductive “busy work” caught our eye. According to a study mentioned in the article, over 10,000 respondents claim that they spend 58% of their days drowning in tasks that don’t contribute to the important work they were hired to do. Those ‘busy work’ tasks largely revolve around communication about work, searching for needed information, toggling between different apps and tools, checking status updates, and managing shifting priorities.

Time lost from this lack of clarity around goals and communication is striking a heavy blow to the bottom line for many companies and driving workers into the dreaded “B” zone: burnout.

So, what can leaders do to stem the tide and help their teams get back to the work that matters this summer.

Set clear goals and objectives each day.

According to the study, workers say that organizations can do more to set clearer and more realistic goals. Helping your people define the “win” each day sets the standard regarding how to prioritize and what can be postponed or even eliminated. A clear understanding of goals and objectives drives engagement and will help your teams avoid drifting into busy work out of a lack of clarity for what’s most needed from them.

Create communication standards

As digital technology has made communicating with each other faster and more convenient, we expect instantaneous responses. That has only increased with the rise in remote work. The pressure to be “always-on” responding to email, instant messaging, and other communication intrusions has led to diminished attention spans and makes it difficult to get work done during work hours. When people don’t clearly understand when and how to use their communication tools, they default to a 24/7 mode of checking and responding that leads to stress and uncertainty. Leaders can help ease this burden by setting clear expectations and boundaries around communication standards: the purpose of each channel, when and how to use them, and the expected response time for messages.

Give people clear workday boundaries

If your teams are working in remote or hybrid settings, clear workday boundaries are critical. Remote work blurs the lines, but to feel satisfied and stay in the game for the long run, workers need to know not only what they need to accomplish but when it’s appropriate to “power down” for the day. “Having a clear beginning and ending to the day is important to not only avoid burnout, but it also helps people feel good about their work,” says one neuroscientist. So, help your employees understand what they need to do each day to succeed in their role and when they are expected to be present and responsive.

Clarity is crucial to satisfaction and mental well-being. A clearer understanding of goals, expectations, and communication standards can help your teams stay on track and avoid drifting into rough waters that rob you of their highest contribution.

Transnation Title strives to do its part in serving your teams and your customers across Michigan and beyond. No matter what you need – a mobile closing, a meeting at another location, or just a question answered – we’ll find a way to come through for you. Reach out to your local Transnation Title office, and schedule a call.