Time is a curious thing. Albert Einstein put it best when he talked about the relatively of time.
“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”
However, Einstein probably wasn’t alluding to the average workday when he said that, because, by all accounts, we’re wasting A LOT of time on the job.
In fact, a recent survey of Human Resource representatives estimated that the average worker wasted 94 minutes of every day (not counting lunch and other allowed breaks). While you may think that seems high, the same survey found that the average employee admitted to wasting about 3 hours of every work day! And that’s just what they admitted!
Here are some more facts, stats, and unbelievable insights into the time we waste at work:
89% of U.S. workers admit to wasting company time while they’re on the clock every day.
More than one out of ten admit to wasting “several hours” at work.
But, maybe employees aren’t always the ones at fault? Maybe there are so many distractions at work that inefficiency is inevitable?
The time distractions most cited at work include:
50% Using their most own cellphones
44% Surfing the web for personal use
23.4% Socializing with coworkers
But if you think that is bad, look at these time-wasters:
3.9% Just spacing out
1.3% Applying for other jobs!
Speaking of wasted time surfing the web, the typical employee now spends 18 hours PER WEEK surfing the net for non-business purposes, with 64% admitting doing so for personal reasons.
For instance, 77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours, 65% of all YouTube views are between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, and 60% of all Amazon, eBay, and online purchases are made during work hours!
Looking deeper at Facebook use at work, about 3% of account users say they ONLY check Facebook during work hours, and 39% would consider quitting a job if it restricted their internet access by blocking Facebook on the job!
But Facebook isn’t the only culprit, and fantasy football consumes $10.5 billion in lost productivity yearly – far more than the estimated $5 billion or so in NFL player salaries yearly.
For that reason, 24% of mid-sized and large companies actually block fantasy football sites on their internet browsers.
But, when employers block certain websites, employees simply use their own smartphones and personal devices to get on those same sites, at a rate of 58%.
If you’re scolding the younger generations under your breath for abusing work time far more than you ever did, you’re also correct.
According to the year you were born, and the average time wasted per day:
1930-1949 0.50 hours wasted daily
1950-1959 0.68 hours wasted daily
1960-1969 1.19 hours wasted daily
1970-1979 1.61 hours wasted daily
1980-1985 1.95 hours wasted daily
We still haven’t asked the existential question: WHY do employees feel emboldened and entitled to waste time at work?
23.4% say it’s because they feel they’re underpaid,
33.2$ do so because they have a lack of work (allegedly!),
And 14.7% say their co-workers are at fault since they’re so distracting.
So, when it comes to slacking off on the clock, are men or women the most aggrieving guilty party? When asked point-blank if the waste time at work, 84.6% of women said yes, compared to only 76% of men!
And when it comes to the industry or type of job that fosters the most time wasters?
20% of agricultural workers waste a few hours a day or more,
22% of workers in the energy/utility field do the same,
And 25% of all government employees as well!
That certainly explains any trip to the DMV!