Dear All,

I have noticed situations wherein few (3-4) employees at times have no work at all. They cannot be shifted to different projects (IT solutions company) as there is a possibility that work might come in inbetween (many times) and they have to be ready for it. But at times , from total work hours (8-9 hours a day), 75% of the time, they are on chats......watching cricket in shares.......and at times, continously planning for their honeymoon (a lady who is getting married in dec.).

They visit some technical websites sometimes and read useful stuff but they cannot keep doing it for 4 hours a day. They will get bored and lose interest even if what they are reading is important and intersting to them.

Can u suggest some useful activities that can take place for these people ? they range from 1-3 yrs of work ex. and work on same techno. and are in the same work team.

I do not want to give them warnings or yell at them as it will only result in continuation of their existing behaviour in a hidden way. I would like to know of things that they would like to do (very doubtful) and at the same time they get some learning out of it.

This situation is faced in many companies. So, i would like all those people who have given a solution to add inputs in this.

(we all have one hand distance between our seats.. all sit in the same way side-to-side and facing ech other. even the project managers)



From India, Mumbai
Hi Ashlesha,

In many companies it happens employees take frequent breaks from the work and do chit chats or check internet, forward mails to refresh mind with entertainment. Now, few breaks are ok and necessary but frequent breaks can hamper concentration and man hours of other employees too. This happens if there is no significant work to do or employee got board with routine work and constantly finding change to do something else. You took correct step of not getting harsh with them as its not gonna work moreover it will put more stress on your employees. Its like more you try to hold water more it will slip from your hands. Here are the few things you can try:

1) You can tell them to build training material under guidance of senior Team lead. Like Animated slides explaining techno stuffs, building technical models, charts, or simplified documents from detailed documents to understand concepts quickly, which can be utilized for training latter.

2) If you are running out of technical work, then form small forum like "Fun at work", You can utilize them for planning various activities for company like Festival celebrations, searching & documenting corporate games, building fun at work culture, starting and maintaining wall magazine etc.

3) Assign Case Study for Organisation Development. Talk to heads of various departments to Identify problem areas, then assign them project of finding Innovative solutions for problem areas under the guidance of senior member. So, they can carry out the project as case study which will benefit the Organisation.

But before assigning any task make sure you know their interest in the task. I hope this should address your concern. Please let me know if you need further information.



Forscher Consultancy



Web: Forscher Consultancy

From India, Mumbai
Hi there,

Having an employee not working for 4 hours is not acceptable need to be engaged in office work. The best solution is to ask them individually for interview and pull out their job description give them one day head start to list down their achievement so far then have a brain storming session on their achievement verses what tasks and activities you can come out from their job description. You need to go through

• Their duties

• Their achievements

• What are their deliverables – tangible

• Their training

• On going projects

• Any problems faced in their work progress

One of the solutions of ensuring employees are always engaged in activities when they have nothing better can be one of the following uses of the organization internet facility

E-library: up load reading materials related all business subjects for employees to expand their knowledge

E-training: Up load training materials employees can lean from to include handouts, slides and videos

Games: Up load games to enhance intelligence, skills, memory

From Oman, Muscat

Congratulations Sarang and Anayat for contributing such amazing answers! I am voting for this thread. Repetitive jobs and downtime are the biggest productivity killers. The capability to focus during this duration is critical to the performance of the team, post this phase. Few of the activities which can be implemented during such work hours are shared below:
  • The team management requires to take an account of +X and -X hours of downtime.
  • The training department may plan short term courses, which can be completed within or less than 25-30 hrs.
  • The need of the employees for training programs required to be divided in broad categories, such as Language enhancement, Excel training, Product development Introduction, Quality Analysis- basic-level training and, etc.
  • The study materials need to be distributed and the programs to be delivered during the identified downtime.
  • Assessments may defer over a period of three months so that the employees can take it once they have covered the live sessions and study time required to clear the course.
  • Few websites such as this, <link outdated-removed> offer online courses for free. Although, there is no certification. You might arrange for an internal assessment to authenticate their learning. These are very basic-level courses, which can be taken by anyone, irrespective of their backgrounds. Thereafter encourage them to figure out, how they can implement it in their jobs.
  • Cross training by the team members: Focus on closing the skill-gap. Often one team member is more skilled than others. This is the time to encourage peer-to-peer learning. Arrange for brainstorming session by the top performers and note how their measures can help others perform better.
  • New skill addition: If your employees are working with clients from different nations, utilize this time, to train your employees on one of those languages. Learning a foreign language doesn't conclude in 30 hours. However, initiating such a program induces interest among employees. Identify a teacher, who can facilitate a crash course for your employees. Thereafter, they can enroll for basic and advance level courses, if they are willing to learn further.

These were defined measures. You will find more innovative ones as you brainstorm further.

From India, Mumbai
Since no job is perfect in itself, in such situations to engage the employees having no work, they can be put to review their own work for further improvement and report the nature of improvements made.
They can also be deployed to review the work of other colleagues or subordinates and give their suggestions how to improve the quality of work. This way, they can not only realize their own shortcomings of the past, but also can make further suggestions to improve others work quality.
They can also be asked to assist other colleagues where overload is there and pendency can be expected.

From India, Delhi
Ban Facebook and terminate the lady who is going to get married because they will just chat with bf and not do any work. Issue memo warning letters to the staff who are idle, install CCTV cameras to monitor and if found indulging in idle timepass, terminate them
From India, Madras
Dear Ashlesha,
I just want to ask you simple questions rather just giving you FREE ADVICE or SUGGESTIONS.

1) Can you let me know, what kind of role is your TOP MANAGEMENT PLAYING?
2) Are they into STRATEGIC PLANNING or not?
3) Are they aware of whatsoever is happening?
4) Do you have meetings with specific agenda and come out with solutions that deem fits your operus morandi?
5) Have you ever called for high level discussions with your TOP MANAGEMENT and RESPECTIVE PROJECT/DEPARTMENT HEADS to solve this issue?
6) Are you held responsible to assign responsibilities to those members who are having free time?
7) Had you studies your organisation and its business operation model?

I am really sorry to say that, kindly help your organisation to become matured and more productive rather just seeking inputs.
a) Do analysis that can help you to explore your employees(their hidden talent).
b) Have OPEN and Productive discussions with all those employees having free time. Come out with appropriate inputs in favour of your organisation, as they are paid for specific activities but not for killing time.
c) Make your employees to manage your organisation and take it to the next levels. Make them THINK OUT OF THE BOX and you too need to do this....

I am very sorry because this is my way of responding to this kind of query.....

My sincere advice to you is that, don't reveal anything in public forums that can make people think about you(abilities, capabilities and lot more) and your organisation(standards, stability factors, productivity/performance levels, operus morandi and lot more). We employees are held responsible for degrading our organisational standards, irrespective of our level in the hierarchy.

Good Luck...

With profound regards

From India, Chennai
There is nothing unethical in seeking suggestions about problems that you are facing in HR work. I feel so sorry about the opinion that SHAIK ABDUL KHADIR have . Because the purpose of this website is to get relevant information from the experienced professionals ....& that is nothing to do with the competency of a person.
From India, Thana
SHAIK ABDUL KHADIR, i have no issues with your way of reply. u have replied what u think.. there is nothing to be sorry of. niether have i taken it to any level for which u shud feel sorry.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Shrikant Patil,
I haven't felt bad by submitting my suggestions in this forum but, i am sure my suggestions made many members to think beyond their limits by exploring their inner inertia. Since you are new to this forum, it will take some time for you to understand the activities happening here. I don't believe in just exchanging views or information without practical thoughts....DISCUSSIONS ARE DISCUSSIONS AND WILL REMAIN DISCUSSIONS ONLY.

To make you understand in a better way, i am repeating what i had said earlier. Kindly do concentrate on my practical thoughts.

I hope you believe in SPOON FEEDING ACTIVITIES and love to promote the same. Even this is practiced by many students, henceforth they are not able to learn productively. This is the major reason why employees do not possess RISK TAKING TENDENCY nor they wish to explore themselves. I like/love creating or transforming individuals into Matured LEADERS, irrespective of their status in their organisation.

Seeking suggestions/opinion/views from any forum is not a tough job but, when you try seeking appropriate inputs within organisation is a real tough job. This is how you explore your employees(hidden talent) and get to know them much better. Get yourself UNITED, develop good relationship not just limiting it to inter or intra-personal, give them an opportunity(accountability, allow them to travel an extra mile, make them passionate) to do their best for their organisation beyond routine responsibilities. Make best use of EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK SYSTEM through SUGGESTION for seeking internal inputs. Call for brain storming discussions, listen to their inputs, allow them to participate and contribute toward organisational growth factors.

Every employee should learn how to bridge gap between employees. This is the major talent and competency of an HR but, not just holding EDUCATIONAL QUANTIFICATION and carrying our normal activities, which is even found in small size organisations.

To become a TRUE PROFESSIONAL is a long journey. A professional organization is one in which extraordinary systems enable even people with ordinary skills to produce extraordinary results.

Hope you got my point. Should you have any clarifications, please feel free to share anything.

Have a nice day.

From India, Chennai

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