Personal Devices and Tasks a Distraction at Work

Professionals surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they squander an average of 56 minutes per day, or the equivalent of nearly five hours a week, using their mobile device for non-work activities in the office.

In contrast, senior managers estimate their staff members spend 39 minutes each day on their cell phones during business hours.

Workers also admitted to clocking 42 minutes a day on personal tasks. All in all, the average employee could be wasting more than 8 hours per work week on activities unrelated to the job. The survey found employees ages 18 to 34 rack up 70 minutes on mobile devices and 48 minutes on personal tasks each work day, the most of all age groups.

Workers reported social media (39%) and entertainment websites (30%) are most commonly blocked at their companies. Nearly half of respondents (48%) indicated their organization doesn’t restrict access to online content.

While 62% of managers think staff spend the most time on social networks when using their own mobile devices during business hours, workers said they’re most occupied by personal email (30%). Male employees most frequently check non-work email on their cell phones (32%), while females browse social networks more (33%).

More than half of professionals (58%) often use their personal devices at work to visit pages that are banned by their company, a 36-point jump from a 2012 survey. Only 39% of managers think it happens that commonly. Sixty-eight percent of male workers frequently use their cell phones to access blocked websites in the office, compared to 43% of females.

The surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 300 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.