Employers Pay Billions for Wasted Work Time

July 12, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New research from Salary.com and America Online (AOL) estimates that employers pay $759 billion in salary for wasted hours by employees.

Results of the survey on Salary.com’s Web site showed that the average worker reports wasting a little over two hours per workday, assuming an eight-hour day. This number does not include lunch or scheduled breaks.

Personal Internet use was cited by 45% of respondents as being the number one time waster. Socializing with co-workers came in second with 23%.

However, most employees blame their company for the reasons they waste time. Thirty three percent say they are not given enough work to do, and 23% waste time because they feel they are underpaid for their work. Fifteen percent blame their coworkers for distractions.

A follow up survey of Human Resource managers showed that employers expect about an hour of wasted time from their employees, not including lunch or breaks. But the hour difference in what they expect and what the employees in the survey report is what Salary.com used in coming up with the cost in salary to the employer.

The survey also showed that men and women waste about an equal amount of time, but older workers waste less time than younger workers.

The Insurance Industry reported the most (2.5) wasted hours per day, while Shipping and Receiving reported the least (1.7). Missouri topped the list in salary dollars wasted per year ($28 billion), while West Virginia wasted the fewest salary dollars ($1.6 billion).

Salary.com’s Web report can be found here .