The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How lazy are you at work? Are you hardly working?
Everyone goes to work with the intention of getting work done and working for a full 8 hour shift. The reality is that work will get done, but there will be a multitude of breaks, distractions, and delays in writing emails, getting to meetings, or the inability of actually getting work done. With possible daydreaming and distractions of personal phone calls, socialization with co-workers, social media, internet, and even an inbox of work emails, hours at work could easily be wasted. Although it is not intentional, these hours are paid and considered lost productivity.
As an employee… you were hired to do a job. You must commit yourself to an 8-hour work day and in return, you are promised a paycheck for your labor. As a professional, you agree to show up to work and do your job. If employers knew that you were going to become easily distracted, they would have probably never hired you. They assume you are competent enough to get your job done without distraction. Most companies will not tolerate slacking off and even set up computer monitoring software to determine what you are doing on your computer during the day.
If you find yourself slacking off at work, you need to set up guidelines and goals for yourself. If you are an employee who tends to need more breaks, than take several breaks away from your desk and step outside or walk around your building for several minutes. Clear your mind and get back into a work mindset. Don’t forget to leave yourself some notes so you do not completely lose your place.
Be cautious and realize that your work computer is for work and your home computer is for your personal pleasure. If you need to do so, find free computer software that blocks you from surfing your favorite websites or limits your time to no more than five or ten minutes per day. You can always visit your favorite websites during your lunch break. The last thing you want is your company forcefully blocking you and all of your co-workers from visiting any websites at all.
As an employer… you should avoid embarrassing your employees by singling them out or acting like a parent. Rather than embarrassing them, you should invest in a workshop that combats employee laziness, employee disengagement, employee daydreaming, and reviews ways to avoid daily common distractions. You should give employees some reward time by allowing them at least a 5 to 10 minute break every other hour or even allow them to browse their favorite websites during their lunch hour. You may monitor what your employees are doing while they are on the Internet, but you should not babysit them or have someone spy on them by going through their web browser history. If you find some employees are less productive than others, you may need to review what they are doing when they are on their computers and surfing the Internet. You may confront them about their time visiting websites, but it is better to give warnings than to block them outright from surfing their favorite websites. If employee behaviors continue to be unproductive and unsatisfactory, than you may need to call a meeting to discuss with your employees the solution, which may require that you block employees from surfing websites, especially during official work hours. There is software to block employees from visiting websites during certain times of the day, which allows you to enable viewing of those websites during lunch breaks or designated break times. However, consider the fact that employees do need a mental break from work. Working a full 8-hour shift and expecting them to remain focused for the entire time is unrealistic in this day and age. Allow for some mental breathers, especially on the Internet.
This infographic takes a look at laziness in the workplace.
Click to open / Right-click for save options
a look into laziness in the workplace.
The average worker admits to frittering away 3 hours per 8 hour workday not including lunch and scheduled break-time.
Cited distractions at work:
1. Web Surfing 44%
2. Socializing w/Co-workers 23.4%
3. Spacing Out 3.9%
4. Applying For Other Jobs 1.3%
Time Wasted During An 8-HR Workday:
Human Resources assume that 0.94 hrs are wasted per day
Human Resources suspect that 1.60 hors are wasted per day
Employees admit they waste 3 hrs. per 8-hour workday
Older Workers Waste Less Time.
Year of Birth: Time Wasted Per Day
1930-1949: 0.50 hrs
1950-1959: 0.68 hrs
1960-1969: 1.19 hrs
1970-1979: 1.61 hrs
1980-1985: 1.95 hrs
18 hrs a week surfing the internet during work hours
$759 billion total salary cost for employers
That’s $50 billion more than the entire 2011 United States Defense Budget!
64% of workers admit using the Internet for personal purposes during work hours.
60% of online purchases are made during regular work hours.
65% of YouTube viewers watch between 9 AM – 5 PM on weekdays when (presumably) at work.
77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours.
1 in 33 workers only used Facebook at work.
Percentage of workers would consider quitting their jobs if Facebook was banned:
39% 18 – 24 year olds
16% 25 – 65 year olds
Fantasy football cost employers $10.5 billion in lost productivity.
Only 24% of companies block access to fantasy sports sites. 7.7% say they embrace fantasy football as a morale booster
The 36 extra seconds the average Google visitor spent playing Pac-Man in May 2010 added up to 4.8 million of wasted hours.
That’s $120,483,800 in lost productivity.
You could hire every single Google employee including co-founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and CEO Eric Schmidth for six weeks for that much money.
Employee’s reasons for wasting time:
23.4% feel underpaid
33.2% lack of work
14.7% distracted by co-workers
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.