Employees Report Spending Time at Work Not Working

Many people think checking in on social media and surfing the web are the major distractions in today’s modern workplace, but it turns out traditional activities, like taking breaks to the office water cooler or break room and participating in small talk, still reign supreme as the most time-consuming workplace distractions.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees conducted by BambooHR, today’s employees spend less time “on the clock” involved with digital distractions than with traditional distractions. And contrary to conventional wisdom, frontline employees aren’t the ones spending the most time wrapped up in these common distractions—across the board, senior leadership indulges more.

Twenty percent of employees think workplace distractions consistently hinder their workplace performance and efficiency, while 18% feel they enhance it.

Non-work related activities done by employees while “on the clock”  at work in order of most time spent include:

  • Taking breaks to the office kitchen/water cooler/break room (other than for lunch);
  • Taking trips to the bathroom;
  • Participating in small talk/gossip with coworkers;
  • Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with family members;
  • Surfing the web/online personal errands (e.g., paying bills online, online shopping, etc.);
  • Corresponding (phone, email, text, social media) with nonwork-related friends;
  • Using social media for non-work-related reasons; and
  • Watching TV (including mobile and computer).
NEXT: Which distractions help and hinder performance