Comedians have found a lot of material in the offices of corporate Americans. Even the workers themselves understand how dreary it can be to spend their days at work in a cubicle. According to one study in 2005, American corporate employees waste more than twenty five percent of their eight hour workday, and their lunch break is not included in this figure. While underachievers may take comfort in this statistic, the rest of us are wondering where all that time goes.
The study was a joint effort by AOL and Salary.com, based in their findings after polling more than ten thousand employees in America. The participators confessed that they wasted their time and their employer’s money using the Internet for personal reasons, socializing, conducting personal business, daydreaming, and doing personal errands.
Each year since 2005, Salary.com has run the same poll and each year the results continue to be the same, with the exception of personal phone calls replacing daydreaming. Time wasted also changes based on age since employees over age fifty say they waste less than half an hour each day, while those born in the eighties on average waste two hours each day.
While these numbers may shock employers, employees say that they waste time because they are not motivated enough, whether because they feel they are dissatisfied, underpaid, lack incentive, distracted by other people, or feel the workday is too long. Employers should note that the two wasted hours cost companies almost eight hundred billion dollars.
If you are one of the many American employees who are wasting time on the job, be proactive and remember you are the one responsible for your situation. If your job is not fulfilling you, then you should take action, whether by finding more challenging tasks or switching careers.
There are many little things you can do to change your situation so that you enjoy your job, rather than dreading it. Make an effort to set mini goals for what you plan to do that day. Use that list to work without interruption for a specified period of time. Organize your work area. If you are slacking off because your boss does not reward you for a job well done, then reward yourself.
Millions of workers across America are able to work without a superior breathing down their neck. However, when studies begin to show that employees have poor time management skills, it is time for all of us to reassess our work attitudes.
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