New research by Rebootonline.com on the procrastination habits of British employees has uncovered evidence of widespread procrastination on a range of activities. It discovered that on average, British workers are spending 122 minutes a day procrastinating - 73 per cent of the hours they are employed to do. Social media and surfing websites account for a considerable portion of this - with more than two hours a day spent on these activities. This adds up to 3 hours and 5 minutes of a working week on social media, meaning they work only 3.7 days a week instead of the five days they are paid to do. Lawyers have a slightly better record than other office employees but still like to while away time that should be spent working. According to the research, they procrastinate for over an hour a day whilst accountants spend nearly an hour and a half per day on a variety of time-wasting activities.
Lawyers versus accountants
However, lawyers procrastinate less than accountants in most categories. They spend 67 minutes a day on activities other than work whilst their accountancy peers spend 87 minutes. Social media took up 11 minutes for lawyers, compared with 14 for accountants. A further 17 minutes is spent on other sites - compared with 23 for accountants. This is against an average of 37 minutes wasted on social media by workers in general and 33 minutes on other sites.
However, it is not just those immersed in social networking that are wasting valuable time spent in the office. Additional findings by Reboot online calculated that employees are spending 15 minutes making coffee and 12 minutes using the toilet daily. Although these are elements of the working day that cannot be avoided, 62 per cent admit to undertaking these office rituals purely due to boredom. Lawyers take more time over their coffee than accountants - with lawyers spending 18 minutes percolating versus 14 for accountants. However, toilet activities reverse this - with accountants taking more time to spend a penny than their legal friends - lawyers took nine minutes to go to the toilet compared with 12 for accountants.
The survey revealed that the common one hour break for lunch and the out of office hours spent at the pub are not enough for the average worker. Accountants were also more chatty than lawyers, spending 23 minutes chatting with their colleagues whilst lawyers spent only 12 minutes. Lawyers were less chatty than the general population of employees who spend 25 minutes on average a day exchanging small talk with colleagues. Shai Aharony, MD of Rebootonline.com responded to these results: 'Although the results are quite shocking, it’s important to avoid any knee jerk reactions and understand that some “off time” could have an overall beneficial effect on productivity in the workplace. In most cases, the benefits far outweigh the time lost. Saying that, it does need to be kept under control and if staff members are found to abuse the freedom given to them, this needs to be brought up at the appropriate time.'