Workers' Reported Waste of Time Still Declining

July 25, 2007 ( - Results of's 2007 Wasting Time Survey indicate the average employee wastes 1.7 hours of a typical 8.5-hour work day.

This is a decrease from the 1.86 hours of wasted work time reported by respondents from last year’s survey and 2.09 hours reported in 2005 (See Workers Report Less Wasted Time than a Year Ago ). However, points out in a press release, employers are still paying billions of dollars in salary for hours during which workers are unproductive.

Personal Internet use (34.7%), socializing with co-workers (20.3%), and conducting personal business (17%) remain the leading time-wasting activities, according to the release. Survey respondents also report making personal phone calls and taking long breaks to run errands while on the job.

Reasons for wasting time cited by workers included:

  • not enough work to do – (17.7%),
  • hours are too long – (13.9%),
  • being underpaid (11.8%), and
  • a lack of challenging work (11.1%).

Survey respondents said they feel some of their work-related activities are a waste of time, such as fixing someone else’s work (18.1%), dealing with office politics (16.2%), and sending or responding to emails (13.1%).

Over 63% of respondents admitted to wasting time at work, with younger workers wasting more time than older workers. Employees between 20-29 years old reported wasting 2.1 hours per day, while the average for 30-39 year olds was 1.9 hours and for those ages 40-49 was 1.4 hours per day.