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Staff time usage: Do employees really waste a lot of time at workplace?

Updated on May 5, 2015

How employees spend their work time during the day, do they waste their working time? This is an open everyday question for every manager, especially today, when a huge portion of our social activity has switched to the Internet Social Networks. The bigger company is the more serious this question becomes. There are many surveys on this topic today. According to the respondents’ reports, they do waste time at work (some numbers are below in this article). With help of up-to-date technologies the reported statistics can be verified exactly. And here comes the important fact about the reported statistics - employees seriously underestimate their wasted time.

«According to a recent Salary.com survey, one of the biggest culprits is surfing the Internet. Specifically, the survey revealed 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39 percent spend one hour or less per week, 29 percent spend 2 hours per week, 21 percent waste five hours per week, and only 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more doing unrelated activities.

Not surprisingly, socializing on Facebook occupied 41 percent, while 37 percent use LinkedIn, and 25 percent are shopping at Amazon. Other destinations include Yahoo and Google+ and to a lesser extent Twitter and Pinterest.»(By Cheryl Conner, forbes.com, 7/17/2012)

Based on the same time usage monitoring survey it was more specifically discovered in what exactly way employees are using the Internet and social media sites unrelated to work. The results were so that mostly employees prefer spending their time by searching personal information using Google services, surfing social networks as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Tumblr, and watching videos on the YouTube and Vine.

«According to Socialnomics and other web sources, volumes of new data and photos are uploaded continually and Web surfers are bombarded with thousands–even millions–of fresh pics, tweets, and articles every day. More than 1.1 billion active Facebook users upload 350M photos daily. And more than 100 hours of video join the YouTube database every minute.»(By Cheryl Conner, forbes.com, 9/07/2013)

There was a statistics about unproductive working time usage of employees, provided by onlinecareertips.com (By Susan Adams, Forbes.com «Special to Online Career Tips», 22/03/2013):

«How do you waste time at work?

  • Web Surfing – 28%,
  • Talking with coworkers - 43%
  • Social Media – 4%,
  • Texting – 4%,
  • Personal Calls – 4%,
  • Online Shopping – 2%.»


And of course every hour wasted has a direct negative impact on entrepreneur’s business that leads to lower level of productivity and loss of income. Doesn’t matter what kind of distraction it is: web surfing, engaging in personal phone calls, chatting with coworkers, shopping online, exploring social networks, checking personal email or it might be even searching for new job opportunities, a great deal of working time slips away. The distractions are endless.

All the mentioned above data was received by means of survey among lots of people. This can be easily verified with help of monitoring working time usage technologies. There are numbers of present-day computer work time monitoring systems that give an opportunity to see how exactly employees waste their working time. Such time usage tracking systems track all employees’ daily computer activities, including: Internet usage, log in/out (attendance hours), active and idle times. Here are some numbers provided by NesterSoft Inc., the owner of WorkTime computer monitoring software. This data was kindly provided by the NesterSoft Inc. customers. Here is the typical daily Internet usage statistics per 1000 employees:

  • facebook.com - 258 hours,
  • google.com – 231 hours,
  • yahoo.com - 104 hours,
  • live.com - 53 hours,
  • cnn.com – 37 hours,
  • youtube.com - 33 hours.

So, on every 1000 employees per day there are 716 hours wasted for personal Internet usage only, which is about 9% of the total working time. That results in wasting 90 salaries out of every 1,000 on zero productivity. Or, if speaking of the Facebook hours only, this is about 3.2% of the total working time or 30 salaries wasted. Also this is about 42 minutes per employee wasted on personal Internet usage in average. Reported numbers do not include idle time, late logins and early logouts, so there is even more working time not used for working.

This statistics clearly shows that companies are losing money by paying workers for job duties they don’t really do:

 
Hours Spent (Per 1000 Employees)
Time Wasted %~
Salaries Wasted ~
facebook.com
258
3,21
30
google.com
231
2,89
29
yahoo.com
104
1,3
14
live.com
53
0,66
7
cnn.com
37
0,46
5
youtube.com
33
0,41
5
Total
716 Hours
8,95% Wasted
90 Salaries Wasted
Worktime Corporate Reports sample
Worktime Corporate Reports sample | Source

And here appears a very important question: why employees are wasting their time, what are the reasons, what makes them do so? According to many surveys, there are numbers of reasons why employees might decide to entertain themselves with things other than work: they might feel bored, be not enough engaged and motivated, be not loaded enough or there might be just too much entertainment in the office. All these reasons are understandable but the main question really is:

How to improve the situation?

According to feedbacks from the NesterSoft customers, the situation with wasted working time has significantly improved after implementing WorkTime and announcing this fact to the employees. As soon as WorkTime monitoring software is installed in the company, managers start to receive daily reports like Top Facebook Employees, Top Social Network or Top Internet Usage, Top Idle Employees and more in order to see the weakest points. And again, employees are aware of this and of course none of them has the wish to be part of these reports. Also managers define this solution as noninvasive and productive way to improve the situation, for both employers and employees.

Of course wasting working time is a practice that is here to stay. Such is the nature of people; they need time for breaks, communication, and sometimes distractions. They need to spend some time for their personal activities, which is OK. But when it is too much, companies sustain losses. And that is when nowadays’ monitoring technologies come in handy by keeping those processes under control and thereby increasing employees’ productivity level.

By Maryna Shynkaruk, Analytical Writer, NesterSoft Inc.

May 2015

www.worktime.com

© 2015 Marisha Resh

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