Feeling unmotivated today? Why timewasting at work is now at epidemic levels

Employers, prepare to be shocked..

Researchers from the website Salary.com have found that the number of people admitting to timewasting at work every day has leapt to 89%, which is a 20% increase on last year’s figures.

In 2014, Salary.com interviewed 750 employees and found that 69% admitted to wasting time in the office on a daily basis; however, its new study reveals that more people than ever are spending even longer periods of time twiddling their thumbs at their employers’ expense.

A staggering 31% of those questioned admitted to wasting at least half an hour a day on non-work related tasks, with the same figure clocking up an hour of procrastination and idleness. More worryingly still, a very brazen 4% were spending at least four or five hours a day timewasting – more time than they actually spent working at their assigned roles.

In a second survey for CareerBuilder, almost one-quarter of the workforce (24%) admitted to dedicating at least an hour of their working day to personal phone calls, emails and text messages.

The top three most common timewasting pursuits were found to be personal mobile phone calls and texts (50%), gossiping with colleagues (42%), and browsing the internet for unrelated subjects (39%). In a close fourth place, checking social media (38%) occupied many people during work hours, while more than one-quarter (27%) said they killed time taking comfort breaks for snacks or cigarettes.

Others sought to pin the blame for their lack of productivity on the people around them, with 24% saying they could not work because they were distracted by noisy colleagues and a further 23% claiming co-workers coming over for a chat meant they put in fewer working hours. 10% of those questioned said they downed tools for prolonged periods of time because they were distracted by people holding speakerphone conversations.

The CareerBuilder survey also revealed some highly unusual real-life instances of timewasting, including the case of a woman who had smuggled her pet bird into the office and was trying to care for it. Other examples included a woman warming her bare feet under a bathroom hand dryer, an employee hiding under boxes to scare his colleagues, a sleeping employee who claimed he was praying, and an employee who used office resources to print off an entire book he had downloaded from the internet.

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