Wasting Away at Work

Published Wednesday, April 07, 2010 8:27 AM

We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.

 - Alice Bloch

We have all heard that time is a precious resource that we should not squander. But, in Salary.com's latest Wasting Time at Work Survey, 64% of the full-time workers responding reported wasting one hour or less each day; 22% said they wasted approximately  two hours daily; and 14% admitted to wasting three hours or more each workday. The main time-wasters reported were:

  • Internet use (48%)
  • Socializing with co-workers (33%)
  • Conducting personal business (30%)
  • Personal phone calls (19%)
  • Long lunches and breaks (15%)

And the primary reasons cited for all this wastefulness were:

  • Being dissatisfied with a job (48%)
  • Feeling underpaid (34%)
  • Waiting for a co-worker to finish something (42%)
  • Attending work-related meetings or activities (42%)
  • Doing administrative work (32%)

Acknowledging these stark statistics, the Cyclope-Series Team Blog suggests that employers can curb waste by providing "opportunities for employees to grow personally and professionally." Likewise, employers would do well to recognize the motivating force of "regular praise, respect in the office place, a sense of having a real voice in the business and some level of job security."

For additional guidance, this Wall Street Journal post on Ways to Stop Wasting Time Online compares four online services designed to help distracted computer users stay focused. You can find similar tips in this review of 15 Free Online Time Management Tools. Offering less concrete, but equally valuable, insight is a recent New York Times article - titled Talk Deeply, Be Happy? - that explores the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations.

by Bradley Eggers

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# Bettie said on Saturday, January 07, 2012 4:01 PM

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# Motivation to lose weight said on Monday, April 09, 2012 3:14 AM

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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