Top Tips to Reduce Overtime and Improve Productivity

February 23, 2021

How to improve productivity without relying on stressful overtime work? Efficient strategy and a digital tool such as Nimbly are the answers.

Once described as an effort to improve productivity, overtime work is now seen as a big stress source, since it contributes to poorer work-life balance.

Business owners should find more efficient ways to boost productivity without leaning to overtime and other stressful methods. Make this guide a start to create a healthy and productive work atmosphere.

Why Overtime Work is Not Effective

Long working hours have been known as one of the stress sources among workers. The United States, which has the average working hour of 37.5 hours per week, also reported work-related stress on 94 percent of its worker population. Overtime may contribute to those numbers, especially in a fast-paced digital environment.

Working overtime is also not an effective method to improve productivity. A study released by the International Labour Office in Geneva showed that 10 percent overtime increase reduces productivity to 2.4 percent. It is because overtime spends the worker's energy, which they should use for the next days of work.

Despite the clear downsides, the question remains: how to reduce overtime without messing up the productivity level?

Strategy to Improve Productivity without Overtime

If you are a business owner or leader aiming to improve productivity, avoid using over time as the main (or only) strategy. Here are several strategies to enhance productivity without making employees do overtime work.

1. Reevaluate the Overtime Causes

Repeated over time works mean there are root causes you need to reevaluate. It could be excessive work burden, unclear job descriptions, and lack of communication between team members. Solving these problems may reduce the need for overtime.

2. Create a Strong but Balanced Overtime Policy

You cannot fully erase the need for overtime, but you can control it as a business owner. Make sure there is an overtime policy that leans toward work-life balance. For example, you may establish standard overtime hours or allow remote work when necessary.

3. Implement Cross Training and Task Division

Highly specified tasks can place burdens to specific employees, leading to overtime. Cross-training gives employees multiple skills to do different jobs. It allows leaders to divide tasks and not to let certain employees end up with too many tasks.

4. Reduce Numbers of Meeting

Excessive meetings reduce productivity because they take up employees' precious time. You can reduce the numbers of the meeting using digital management tools and long-distance group communication (something to appreciate in the age of COVID).

5. Apply the Right Work Tools

Work tools can increase productivity without relying on overtime. Workgroup management tools, automated systems, and internal communication lines allow workers to perform various tasks more efficiently. 

One of the best work tools you can have to reduce overtime is a digital checklist system, like Nimbly.

Benefits of Using Nimbly

Nimbly offers an easier, more streamlined work management process by implementing a digital checklist system. Teams and leaders can quickly manage data, list tasks, and solve problems. These functions can reduce overtime costs up to 70 percent and save three hours of each employee's time every week.

Here are several functions Nimbly can do to reduce overtime and increase work efficiency:

Digitized Checklist

Paperwork can take a lot of employees' valuable time. Nimbly digitizes manual operational checklists, eliminating the need to print the checklists, to buy papers and inks, and to maintain the photocopy machine.

Make Report Instantly

Data entry is one of the most time-consuming works in many industries. If your team is doing daily or monthly reporting to your management team and still spending 3–4 hours a week to do the report, Nimbly reduces the time employees need to rewrite every checklist data into reports with automated data entry & real-time reporting.

Easily Track Issues

Forget multiple communications through emails and group chats. Any issues found on the daily check will be automatically assigned to the responsible department. Everyone can instantly find out and follow up the problem, which leads to faster problem-solving.

Nimbly features that will help operations manager: digital questionnaire, issue tracker, and real-time dashboard.


Efficiency allows you to improve worker's productivity without relying on overtime. Create a healthier work atmosphere and make every project easier with Nimbly as one of your digital tools.

About Nimbly

Nimbly is a mobile solution that digitizes operations, improves efficiency, and generates cost savings by providing companies' management with data-driven insights from field operations remotely and in real-time.

About Nimbly

Nimbly transforms manual operations audit processes into app-based checklists for front-line workers to generate reports instantly, centralize insights in real-time, and ensure thorough issue resolution.

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