WORKPLACE / NOV. 28, 2013
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Are You a Time Waster?

Most of us waste some of our time at work. When we should be deep into the working day, typing out something important or preparing a presentation, it's all too common to take a few moments to have a short break. We might check Facebook or Twitter, drop an email to a friend or simply chat to a colleague by the water cooler. Of course, these short sessions of inactivity all add up and before we know it we're struggling to catch up on our work load.

Despite being aware of procrastinating, many of us still waste huge amounts of time while we're in the office. In fact, this infographic from Time Doctor highlights just how bad time wasting can be in the workplace.

It will probably come as no surprise that the three top time wasters in the office are chatting to colleagues, non-work related internet surfing, and spending time in useless meetings. However, what's interesting about the research Time Doctor carried out is the extent of time wasting. For example, a huge 91% of those asked admitted to daydreaming in meetings whilst a hefty 39% confessed that they fell asleep in them.

When it comes to spending time on the internet, 39% of people admitted to looking at personal rather than work related websites for up to an hour each week. However, in a shocking revelation 8% admitted to spending between five and 10 hours each week surfing non-work related sites online. Surely productivity levels and career prospects must suffer as a result of this, but if so many of us are guilty of it perhaps not. And you have to wonder how the 3% who surf personal sites for over ten hours a week manage to get any work done at all. Yet they still have their jobs!

For those who waste their time online, social media was the most responsible for distracting them from work, but online shopping, sending emails and gaming also featured heavily. Video sites such as YouTube have also been found to be a big draw for office procrastinators.

Don’t put all the blame on the internet though, as the top time waster is the water cooler effect, i.e. bumping into colleagues and losing several minutes catching up with them and chatting. If you want to stop wasting time, this should be the first thing you work on. Cut down on the small talk, step away from the crowd which gathers around the water cooler and you may well find yourself working more, and wasting your precious time less.

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