Salary.com, Inc., provider of on-demand compensation management solutions, released the results of its 2007 Wasting Time Survey revealing that the average employee wastes 1.7 hours of a typical 8.5 hour work day. This is the third year Salary.com has conducted the survey and, while the amount of wasted time has steadily declined, companies are still paying billions in salaries for which they receive no direct benefit.
As in previous years, personal Internet use (34.7% of respondents), socializing with co-workers (20.3%) and conducting personal business (17.0%) remain the leading time-wasting activities. Respondents also report making personal phone calls and taking long breaks to run errands while on the job.
Interestingly, the reasons for wasting time cover both extremes. While many employees admit to wasting time because they â€˜donâ€™t have enough work to doâ€™ (17.7%), the second most popular, and somewhat contradictory, response is â€˜my hours are too longâ€™ (13.9%). Employees also cite being underpaid (11.8%) and a lack of challenging work (11.1%) as reasons for slacking on the job.
While the amount of time wasted at work may appear high, it has actually declined 19 percent since the first survey in 2005. At that time employees reported wasting an average of 2.09 hours per day and, in 2006, the figure receded to 1.86 hours. This trend is likely the result of numerous factors, including a growing economy, increases in employee productivity and a tightening labor market.
Salary.com surveyed over 2,000 employees across all job levels during June and July of 2007. The surveys were fielded to AOL and Salary.com users and their responses were submitted electronically. Salary.com compensation professionals reviewed the data for accuracy and consistency and aggregated the valid submissions.