HR Strange But True

Just Take the Day Off, You’re Already Wasting It

If you look around your office right now, how many of your employees or coworkers are engrossed in their cell phones? It’s become all too common to see people more focused on a cell phone screen rather than what’s going on around them. But how is this trend affecting productivity? Would you like to wager a guess and see how much time employees are wasting doing personal activities on their cellphones, while they’re clocked in, supposedly working?day off

What did you hypothetically guess? If you said a full days’ work is being wasted, you hit the nail on the head! According to a new survey released by OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, “the average employee could be wasting more than 8 hours per work week on activities unrelated to the job.”

OfficeTeam surveyed 300 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments and more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. The survey found that workers waste an average of 56 minutes a day—which equals out to be about 5 hours a week—on their mobile devices, doing other things that are not work related.

Senior managers admit to wasting time too—but just not as much. Senior managers fessed up to using personal mobile devices for about 39 minutes a day. On average, all workers have admitted to wasting at least 42 minutes a day on something that wasn’t work related.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Employees aged 18 to 34 rack up 70 minutes on mobile devices and 48 minutes on personal tasks each work day, the most out of all age groups.
  • While 62% of managers think their staff spends the most time on social networks when using their own mobile devices during business hours, workers said they’re most occupied by personal e-mail (30%).
  • Male employees most frequently check nonwork e-mail on their cell phones (32%), while females browse social networks more (33 %).
  • Workers reported that social media (39%) and entertainment websites (30%) are the most commonly blocked at their companies, which is why workers end up using their personal devices. Nearly one-half of respondents (48%) indicated that their organization doesn’t restrict access to online content.
  • More than one-half of professionals (58%) often use their personal devices at work to visit pages that are banned by their company, a 36-point jump from a 2012 survey31. Only 39% of managers think it happens that commonly.
  • Of the respondents who admit to viewing banned content on their devices, 68% are males and 43% are females.

“It’s understandable that employees may occasionally use their mobile devices or attend to personal tasks during business hours. But these activities can easily become big distractions,” said Brandi Britton,  district president for OfficeTeam, in a press release. “To best manage their time, staff can take advantage of breaks during lunch and throughout the day to catch up on nonwork e-mail or errands.”