Employees Are Fitting In More Break Time Than They Think

Surveyed employees reported engaging in digital activities throughout the work day, and remote workers do more multitasking than when they are in the workplace.

Employees estimate they take 42 minutes of break time per work day, on average, but they actually take 2.7 hours, according to a survey of 1,241 employees with classic “desk jobs” by game site Solitaired.

Eighty-nine percent of surveyed employees think they take 60 minutes or less in work breaks, but only 9% actually do. Solitaired asked respondents to estimate, in general, how long they take for breaks each day, then gave them a list of activities and asked them to estimate how long they take for each of those each day.

The activities that consumed the most time away from work were taking care of biological needs (36 minutes), consuming entertainment (25 minutes), daydreaming or thinking about things to do (22 minutes) and communicating with friends and family (18 minutes). Digital activities were found to be popular non-work-related activities during work time. More than six in 10 workers say they text or message people during work hours, 53% use their personal email, 44% use banking apps and 41% spend time on Instagram. YouTube, Facebook and Amazon are each used by more than a third of employees during work hours.

The report also found that even when workers say they’re working, many aren’t giving their jobs their full attention. Respondents, on average, spend 3.4 hours multitasking each day. Seventy-eight percent of remote workers say they multitask more at home than they did in the office, and 59% of remote workers say it takes them longer to get work done while at home than in the office.