Using a time diary to stay on top of your workload

On average, social workers work for 9.5 hours a day, despite being paid for only 7.5 hours, research from Community Care and Unison showed in 2017. Lack of time is a huge issue in social work. A climate of austerity, fewer resources and increased caseloads leaves little spare time in the day for any social worker. Two-thirds (67%) of those who responded to the Community Care/Unison survey had not had a lunch-break that day, and 64% said they almost never took a break at work.

This is undoubtedly an issue for government, heads of service and senior managers to focus on. It doesn’t matter how efficient or productive an individual social worker is, if the wider organisation they work in has too few staff or an increasing number of cases. But if you are concerned about improving your time management and making the best use of the time you spend at work, there are things you can do.

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