The Greatest Time-Wasters at Work

Time management business person signalling time up
© Photographer: Ryan Jorgensen | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Survey Shows Biggest Drain Comes From Employees Surfing the Internet, Socializing

Water cooler chatter and web surfing are the top time thieves at work, according to a new survey of chief financial officers (CFOs). Nearly one-third (29 per cent) of executives interviewed said chatting with coworkers is the greatest time-waster at work. Non-business related Internet use, including social media, ranked a not-too-distant second, garnering 25 per cent of the response.

One in 10 financial executives (10 per cent) polled said meetings drain significant time, with the data suggesting this issue is most pronounced at larger companies. At companies with 1,000 or more employees, meetings received 26 per cent of the response, compared to 9 per cent at firms with 20 to 49 workers.

The Canadian survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world’s premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies.

CFOs were asked, Which one of the following is the greatest time-waster at work for employees?” Their responses:

Employees chatting and socializing 29%
Non-business related Internet use (including social media) 25%
Personal calls or emails 15%
Work-related email 14%
Meetings  10%
Other/don’t know 7%
100%

“Building relationships with coworkers and colleagues is important for office morale, so socializing is acceptable within reason,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources “That said, too many distractions at work can affect productivity so it’s best to keep a balance between non-work tasks during business hours and professional obligations.”

King added, “If there’s a noticeable amount of time spent on non-work tasks, look for reasons why this could be happening. It could be a matter of too much or too little on employees’ plates, or a dip in staff engagement. Monitor the distribution of projects to ensure the right amount of challenge and engagement across the board.”

From: Robert Half Management Resources.

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