Office time-wasting hits new high

British workers waste up to 12 weeks a year, surfing the net, texting friends, sending personal emails, and even looking for new jobs; all while they should be working.

These are the findings of a survey from online pollster Tickbox, which found that a third of British workers spend the equivalent of between 7 and 14 days a year ‘desk skiving’, using mobiles, emails and the internet for unofficial purposes.

Popular non-work pastimes include looking at news online (58% of respondents), using search engines for personal reasons (54%), sending personal texts (30%), online shopping (27%), taking part in online auctions (20%) and using instant messaging to talk to friends (14%).

Alarmingly one in seven claim to spend more time emailing friends than working, with time also being wasted on online dating, gambling and visiting adult content websites.

Before bosses become too paranoid though, it is worth considering that this survey is not necessarily representative. A fair proportion of the 1,500 respondents to this survey most likely filled it in as an alternative to doing their jobs, while their more conscientious peers were too busy working to take part.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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