How to Save 1,936 hours a Year and Keep Workplace Chaos at Bay

What happened to those days when you left the office at 5:00 and didn’t think about work again until 9:00 the next morning?
The constant connectivity of phones has made it possible to work and be available around the clock. It has added the pressure to be always connected, but we never feel like the work is done.
It’s not the smartphone’s fault that people can’t disconnect from work. This is what’s interesting.
According to a Center for Creative Leadership report: “They blame their companies–specifically, poor process, people (and time) management that is robbing them of their equilibrium and ability to recharge.”
Ending workplace chaos is worth it
There are many benefits to ending chaos at work, including higher employee retention and productivity and happier family members and employees.
We have been conscious about integrating work-life balance into our company’s fabric. We are passionate about helping other teams enjoy the same benefits.
You don’t have to measure your work-life balance. How do you know if you have made a difference in the chaos? It can be measured in the time we are able to give back our team members.
These are some stats to consider:
According to the US Census Bureau, the average commute time for a US worker is 26.1 mins.
The Center for Creative Leadership found 60% of professionals, managers, and executives who use smartphones for work, spend approximately 5 hours per weekend scanning emails and work 13.5+ hours per day. This equates to about 72 hours per week.
We did the math and found that a TeamGantt member will work an average of 1,936 hours less per year than a professional who commutes to work each day and feels obligated.
Here’s how savings work:
Remote work = 212 hours saved – no commute
No evening or weekend work = 1,536 hours saved (40- vs. 72-hour week)
Half-day Fridays = 188 Hours saved (an additional 4 hours every Friday!)
This adds up to an additional 80 days per year for our team members to take a break and recharge so they can be their best at work.
It’s all about culture and process.
There are many ways to reduce workplace chaos. It might not be possible to make your remote workforce 100% remote with only half-day Fridays. You can make small changes today to improve the work-life balance in your team.
Let’s look at two policy changes that have been successful for our team.
Two simple guidelines to keep chaos at work at bay
Your team can establish policies for after-hours communications to allow them to draw a clear line between work and home. It’s fine if rules are not followed on occasion. These are guidelines that will shape your team’s culture over time.
1. After 5:00 PM, no internal messages
Everyone needs to have some downtime in the evenings. We encourage you to not send Slack messages after 5:05 pm.
Nobody wants to wake up at 9 o’clock in the night to see a Slack Alert. It’s natural to feel compelled read it and respond from the couch or at the dinner table. Even if you decide not to reply to Slack after hours it still occupies space within your brain. Instead of spending time with your family, or going to the gym, you are distracted by work.
2. After 5:00 PM, there is no need to reply to emails from outside.
Is it okay for your team to leave a client email after-hours unanswered until the morning? Are others responding and cc’ing the team? Is work guilt a reason for people to think, “Because others work at night, I suppose I should too?”
This policy can be made explicit and encouraged to be followed. Let team members know that it is okay to disconnect and that it is acceptable to not respond at night.
There are exceptions to this rule. We don’t want TeamGantt Users to be.