Office workers waste years doing nothing, survey finds

Looking out of the window replaced in recent years by wasting time on the internet, but the net result is the same, say new figures

Britain's office workers are wasting years - and millions of pounds in lost productivity - through doing nothing at all, recent figures have found.

According to their own admission, many spend time when they should be working browsing the internet, chatting on Facebook and Twitter, or simply taking extended tea, cigarette or lunch breaks.

The net result of this lack of activity is the potential loss of millions or pounds for employers as their staff get away with doing - quite literally - nothing. And even when they are working, workers spend two hours every day dealing with email; and another thirty minutes "wasted" in meetings.

"It's incredible, and the kind of thing this country could do without," said Mark Hall, Gentleman Creation Officer of sock subscription service Socked.co.uk, "What we need are a new league of gentlemen in the workplace, leading by example. We at Socked are all about saving time - You're there to work, not slack off."

The socked.co.uk survey found these favourite workplace time-wasters:

Long lunch breaks

Tea and cigarette breaks

Personal internet use

Talking to friends

Personal business

Logging onto the computer, trying to remember passwords

"Looking" for pens

Day-dreaming about promotion
And the old stand-by: Looking out of the window

According to figures, two-thirds of office workers admit to using the internet for non-work purposes, with a fifth saying that they waste at least an hour every day this way. Other workers admitted to going shopping in work hours, and seeing to banking, personal and other business.

However, it's not just workplace skiving that costs millions of pounds. Research found that over-long meetings, inappropriate work processes, dealing with disruptive colleagues, not to mention a deluge of email are just as good at wasting time. A survey carried out by Epson revealed a massive £26bn wasted on meetings in the UK in one year alone.


"There's one waste of time we can help with," said Mark Hall of Socked.co.uk "British men spend a whole month of their lives looking for lost socks when they could be out wasting time doing something else.

"With a subscription from Socked.co.uk, we can free up hours of wasted life that can be used elsewhere. Even the sign-up process only takes a few minutes and you never have to waste a second buying or looking for socks ever again."

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