Not all business owners and managers are overly concerned with the amount of time their employees waste each day. According to some experts, spending time at work on non business tasks should be seen as a positive if it results in new business ideas or simply makes the work environment more enjoyable.
According to a recent survey by Salary.com and America Online, "goofing off" at work costs U.S. companies an estimated $759B each year.
The rule of thumb for Human Resource professionals is that 1 hour is wasted on non-work activities in every 8 hour day (excluding a lunch hour). In reality, the survey indicates that the average worker actually spends 2.09 hours per day staring off into space, surfing the internet or playing wastebasket basketball. The main reasons given by survey participants for their wasted time included "Not enough work to do" (33.2%), "Underpaid for their work" (23.4%) and "Co-workers distract me" (14.7%). The survey also found a strong correlation between the age of the employee and the amount of wasted time. Employees born between 1930 and 1949, on average, only wasted 0.50 hours per day, the lowest average. Missouri led the nation in average wasted hours per workday with 3.2 and South Carolina topped the list of the most focused employees with only 1.3 hours wasted per day.
The most popular diversions during the workday included:
Surfing the internet: 44.7% Socializing with co-workers: 23.4% Conducting personal business: 6.8% Spacing out: 3.9%
Don't despair young man. Houston is still full of managers who value slackers and indeed believe that "spaced out" deadwoods are indeed thinking about process improvements and not, well, just space out (Spacing out: 3.9%.)