The employees waiting time are commonly referred to as Idle time definition. It is also used to define the processing time of a PC and the time when a machine is not operating. In the case of an employee and machinery, idle time is considered a paid period. Each piece of machinery installed in your firm experiences downtime at some point. In this context, downtime refers to the phase when the machine cannot be used due to servicing and maintenance
During this time, the piece of equipment or machine is sent to the service center for repairs. Downtime is inevitable. It is considered as the common business practice – whether you run a Manufacturing firm or a retail store. This is something a company cannot control. However, the company has full control over the abnormal idle time. For instance, when an employee of your company joins a strike, it will result in abnormal idle time.
It is extremely important for all sizes of businesses to manage time efficiently. This is especially required for a company that’s running on a high Fixed Cost. The long idle time can have a negative impact on your productivity. It also delays certain tasks and hampers the management process.
Now, idle time is most likely to occur when the manager or HR department of a company fails to schedule employee’s shifts and regular operations. Time management is a key component of a successful business. Sometimes, the idle time can be caused by employees. Let’s understand it with an example.
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Suppose a car manufacturing company has a record of producing a hundred cars in 3 days. Each car has to be tested and reviewed thoroughly before it gets ready for the Market. The testing team of your company takes 3 days to test 50 cars, which is half the number of cars produced in the same period. Now, the next three days are going to be the idle time for the employees as they have to wait for the testing team to complete the evaluation. The company could avoid this idle time if they hire more people for testing.
As mentioned above, no business can avoid idle time. However, you can control the abnormal idle time by improving the coordination between your team and facilitating seamless communication.
Another cause of idle time is natural disasters, such as floods. If a flood occurs, the overseas shipping will not be executed for a while (at least until the situation is under control). This means the manufacturing companies will not be able to load and unload products.
It can affect the companies that rely on these transported goods to continue regular business operations. If the movement of the inventory stops due to any reason, the manufacturing company will have no other option than to free both workers and machinery until they start to collect the new inventory.