Movement In The Workplace - The Hidden Time Waster

Movement In The Workplace – The Hidden Time Waster

29th August 23

In the workplace, there are processes that require movement – and all this activity adds up. Today we’re focusing on the instances where extra movement isn’t always necessary.

In a coffee shop, for example, a barista will need to move around in order to make a coffee, which includes retrieving the milk, cleaning jugs etc. Whilst all of this movement is required in order to fulfil an order, movement takes time which adds cost to the process.

By reviewing your processes to make sure colleagues are only moving when necessary, you could reduce this hidden time waster.

Minimise movement and make a difference

British cycling coach, Dave Brailsford, devised the concept of ‘Marginal gains’ which explains that, if you break down every aspect that goes into riding a bike, then improve each one by 1%, you can achieve a significant improvement in performance when putting them all together.

In the workplace, small changes add up to make a big difference:

  • Less movement, more time – Minimising movement within your workplace means the time it takes to complete the process is much quicker
  • Optimise smaller layouts – Keeping everything within reach can make a huge difference. Having everything to hand and in a logical order means there’s no need to leave the area to fetch something, or stretch on tiptoes to retrieve in item that’s out of reach
  • Optimise bigger layouts – The same can be applied to larger workspaces. For example, making changes can remove the need for colleagues to walk the length of an entire warehouse just to retrieve a pick list or set of labels from a printer 
  • Wellness of colleagues – Making these changes benefits colleagues too as, at best, extra movement contributes to tiredness and, at worst, it could lead to repetitive strain injuries

How ReThink can help you to reduce movement

The good news is that a work study helps to spot and quantify excess movement. 

Using different techniques, we can measure processes in bigger time periods – such as walking between workstations or doubling back up an aisle whilst putting a delivery away – right through to smaller movements where we film a process and slow it down to use deep dive movement analysis. This enables us to assess in more depth, capturing tiny tweaks that add up to a big difference.

Using Soter Analytics technology, we provide a visual representation of an employee’s movement, helping to reduce workplace injuries, as well as increasing productivity and workplace efficiency.

More movement requires more time which racks up the costs. Get in touch with our business improvement consultants today to discover ways to minimise your hidden time waster.