How much time is wasted at work being non-productive – and what can be done to improve the situation?
In Sweden, several employees of the Social Insurance Agency have been discovered browsing on the job. The Agency found that employees had been visiting non-work related websites while being ‘inactive on the work system’. One employee spent 50 hours of work time visiting 350 websites while another spent 47 hours on non-work related browsing – mostly on Facebook. One of the employees was fined half a month’s pay.
Meanwhile, self-employed entrepreneur Maneesh Sethi, has been measuring his own non-productive time at work. Using an app called RescueTime, he discovered he was spending up to 30 hours a week on non-work related sites such as Facebook and Reddit. Looking for help to keep him focused, he advertised on Craigslist for a ‘faceslapper’ to hit him every time he attempted to visit his social media sites. He reported a massive improvement in his productivity.
Since that experiment, he has gone on to develop a wearable device that will monitor the wearer’s ‘bad habits’ and give them an electric shock if they slip into their old ways!
Research published by CareerBuilder looked at the obstacles to maximising productivity in the workplace. Mobile phones, gossip, social media, noisy colleagues, meetings, speaker phones and email are all cited. 73% of the participating organisations had attempted to implement measures to mitigate time-wasting at work, including blocking some websites, monitoring internet usage and limiting meetings.
But what if you want to be distracted at work? Helpfully, econsultancy has provided a list of 11 websites and Twitter accounts that can help you fill your days unproductively, including the useless and ironic time-saving tips of @TwopTips – example:
Make yourself feel more important by referring to your tweets as “content”.