British workers are wasting almost half of each day

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relax_at_desk_1600_wht_2896According to a study by Microsoft 2016 employees are wasting on average three hours a day messing about on social media or having refreshment breaks.

Now I’m not against workers having break and have said so in the past. But three hours a day is ridiculous which means only half of each working day is productive. So on average British workers only work effectively for 4.5 hours a day. That equals 28 lost working days year. No wonder UK productivity is lamentable.

Overall three-quarters of British workers admit they spend far too much time procrastinating rather than actually working.

The worst offenders are people with their own offices and younger employees aged 18-24 who put in less than 4 hours a day compared to over 5 hours for 35-44 year-olds, the most productive group.

People working in teams were more productive putting in an hour more than people working alone who only worked for 4 hours and 18 minutes on average. Presumably that’s because of peer pressure.

Glasgow is the hardest working location with Sheffield the least productive.

Last week a Swedish technology firm reduced working hours to 6 hours a day claiming it was more effective and Gothenburg City Council is experimenting with a six-hour day also.

The idea of shortening the working day has been tried in many countries but not always with positive results. Even in Sweden. Kiruna district council adopted a 6-hour day for sixteen years but has opted to return to a longer day.

Not all these experiments have been evaluated properly. In some countries e.g. France it’s claimed that as productivity increased so did sickness absence.

Back in the day Sweden was in the forefront of introducing new working methods in its car industry – again with mixed results. People were happier but not necessarily more productive.


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