Are there time wasters at work that are killing your productivity that you might not realize?

Your days seem to whiz by in a flurry of activity. But how much are you really getting done? According to recent research, the answer is, not that much. With productivity down, American businesses are looking for the reasons why. What they have found is astounding.

employee checking the time at work 1112 410 - 3 Time Wasters at Work That Are Killing Your Productivity


Today’s worker is wasting more time than ever before – and that is cutting deeply into employers’ profits. According to a report issued by this year, about 4% of workers admit to wasting as much as half of their workday doing things that have nothing to do with their jobs. So what are people doing during work hours?

How We Spend Our Time

According to statistics, 64% of workers use the internet for personal use during the workday and 50% make personal phone calls or send texts during office hours. As many as 60% of workers admit to making online purchases when they are supposed to working, and many more play video games.

But, the personal use of time aren’t the only workday wasters impacting businesses. Here are some in-office time wasters that employees report:

  • Gossip (42%)
  • Social interaction with C-Workers (32%)
  • Snacks and Breaks (27%)
  • Meetings (23%)
  • In-Office Noise Distractions (24%)

How Much Our Time Wasters Cost

None of us have to waste much time to have a real impact on a company’s profits. It makes sense that wasting hours each day is going to cost your employer big bucks. But, what about those small time wasters we rarely think about?

One report estimates that if every employee in the United States wastes a mere 36 seconds per day, the cost is an astronomical $120,484,000 every year! Now, multiply those few seconds by the minutes and hours most of us waste in a single day and you can see how much productivity is being lost in America’s workforce.

How to Break the Distraction Habit

No matter how conscientious you are, we all need to look at the tasks that strip us of the time necessary to get real work done. Here are a few of the most common culprits, along with some simple solutions:

1. Office Gossip

It’s hard not to fall into this trap, but statistics show that gossiping eats away as much as an hour a day in some offices. The easiest solution is to walk away when the gossip starts.

2. Socialization

Limit friendly banter to breaks and lunchtime.

3. Meetings

If meetings are eating away at your productivity, do your best to eliminate unnecessary ones. If you really aren’t required to be present, skip it. And when you are required to be in the room, do your best not to sidetrack the discussion. Keeping everyone on task can save hours of table time every week.

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