July 11, 2005

U.S. workers say they waste 2 hours a day

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. workers say they squander over two
hours a day at the workplace, with surfing the Web, socializing
with co-workers and simply "spacing out" among the top
time-wasting activities, according to a survey released on

Most U.S. companies assume about an hour of wasted time,
but workers admit to actually frittering away more than twice
as much time at a cost of $759 billion in annual paid salary
that results in no apparent productivity, an online survey
conducted by America Online and Salary.com showed.

Wasted time did not include the standard lunch hour.

Of 10,044 employee respondents, 33 percent said they
engaged in time-wasting activities because they didn't have
enough work to do. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they
squandered their work hours because they were underpaid.

Men and women wasted an equal amount of time at work, but
older workers were significantly more attentive than younger
workers, the survey showed. Workers over 55 years old wasted an
average of just 30 minutes a day, according to the survey.

Bill Coleman, senior vice president at Salary.com, said
some time-wasting activities -- such as personal use of the
Internet -- can be positive, resulting in new business ideas or
a happier work environment.

"There is such a thing as creative waste," said Coleman.
"Not all wasted time is bad."