Procrastinators unite! Study exposes UK as a nation of WhatsApp addicts

Three quarters of UK workers admit they spend up to six hours procrastinating on Whatsapp, according to new poll.

Just six per cent of the UK’s office workers feel productive for the full working day due to apps like Whatsapp, a new poll commissioned by alternative business lender Fleximize finds.

Profiling all job types from CEOs to juniors, the study found that one in five workers admitted to procrastinating for over two hours a day – and sometimes up to a shocking six hours.

An estimated 21.18 million people in the UK wake up and head off to their 9-to-5 job every weekday. With a whopping 84 per cent of workers procrastinating for over 30 minutes a day, that means the UK is potentially losing out on a collective nine million work hours each day.

Social media was revealed as the number one reason most of us can’t concentrate in the office. Instant messaging app WhatsApp stole the limelight as the most distracting platform, with 72 per cent of workers chatting with their friends at their desks when they should be working. It was closely followed by Facebook, which distracts 70 per cent of workers, while Instagram (49 per cent) Twitter (41 per cent) and Snapchat (30 per cent) were also named as common workplace distractions.

Of those who took part in the poll, 63 per cent admit to eating both lunch and breakfast at their desks at least twice a week – if not every day (20 per cent) – and 65 per cent say they do not usually leave the office at lunch at all. And with 71 per cent of workers doing up to four hours of overtime per week, it appears many of us are working later to make up for lost hours during the day.

‘It’s ironic that social media, which has become an essential tool for businesses, is at the same time proving the biggest drain on employee productivity,’ says Peter Tuvey, founder and managing partner of Fleximize. ‘However, it can also be seen as an opportunity to harness the ‘always on’ mentality of millennials. For example, companies could encourage all staff to gear their social media habits towards business goals, whether that’s seeking out and sharing relevant news stories or keeping an eye on the activity of competitors.’

Peter continues, ‘It was a big eye-opener to see that 71 per cent of UK workers are doing up to four hours of overtime each week. If these figures mean employers should start instating mandatory lunch hours and a ‘don’t take your work home with you’ policy, it could be a big step forward for UK businesses in improving the work-life balance of their teams.’

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Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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