UK – Businesses lose up to 7 weeks a year of productivity due to worker procrastination, study finds


20 August 2018

Nearly a quarter, or 23%, of UK professionals, admit to spending up to 21 hours each month on personal activities such as texting and internet shopping during their work time, according to survey data from job site CV-Library. This is the equivalent of 2.8 full working days lost every month, or seven weeks each year.

CV-Library’s research aimed to find out how much time employees spend procrastinating during the working day and the impact this has on UK businesses. The study found that two thirds (62%) of workers believe that employees have the right to procrastinate now and then.

Employees were also asked to reveal what they do when procrastinating at work, the top five activities include:

  1. Texting or using instant messaging – 42%
  2. Browsing social media – 25.2%
  3. Replying to personal emails – 23.1%
  4. Online shopping – 17.2%
  5. Making phone calls to friends or family – 10.1%

The survey also found that 34% of professionals procrastinate because they are ‘bored’ while 23% say it is because they do not like their job and 22% say it’s because they have little to do at work.

“Reduced productivity is never ideal for any business, so it’s important that the right steps are taken to tackle this problem before it worsens,” Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said. “Managers should consider discouraging phone use during worktimes and instead creating set times such as breaks where employees can look at their phone and do their personal errands. On top of this, staff should be kept engaged with regular catch-ups to find out if there’s a bigger problem that’s causing them to procrastinate.”

Biggins also suggested that employers should consider how they can increase employee engagement through training and presenting staff with new opportunities in the workplace.

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