Imagine how much you would accomplish at work if you truly focused for just one hour. Or two. Or three. No cell phone, no surfing the Internet, no Facebook. Just work. Wait. Isn't that what you're being paid to do? It is a rare person who can come to work and never be distracted. And while some interruptions aren't your fault -- such as a meeting your boss requires you to attend -- others you have only yourself to blame. and Harris Poll surveyed 3,022 full-time, private sector workers nationwide across industries and company sizes to find out what causes us to waste the most time at work. One in four workers (24 percent) admitted that, during a typical workday, they will spend at least one hour a day on personal calls, e-mails or texts. 21% estimate that they spend one hour or more during a typical workday searching the Internet for non-work-related information, photos, etc.

When asked what they consider to be the primary productivity stoppers in the workplace, employers pointed to: 
  1. Cell phone/texting: 50 percent 
  2. Gossip: 42 percent 
  3. The Internet: 39 percent 
  4. Social media: 38 percent 
  5. Snack breaks or smoke breaks: 27 percent 
  6. Noisy co-workers: 24 percent 
  7. Meetings: 23 percent 
  8. E-mail: 23 percent 
  9. Co-workers dropping by: 23 percent 
  10. Co-workers putting calls on speaker phone: 10 percent 

Employers also shared real-life examples of some of the more unusual things they caught employees doing when they should have been busy working:

Employee was blowing bubbles in sub-zero weather to see if the bubbles would freeze and break.
A married employee was looking at a dating web site and then denied it while it was still up on his computer screen. 
  1. Employee was caring for her pet bird that she smuggled into work. 
  2. Employee was shaving her legs in the women's restroom. 
  3. Employee was lying under boxes to scare people. 
  4. Employees were having a wrestling match. 
  5. Employee was sleeping, but claimed he was praying. 
  6. Employee was taking selfies in the bathroom. 
  7. Employee was changing clothes in a cubicle. 
  8. Employee was printing off a book from the Internet. 
  9. Employee was warming her bare feet under the bathroom hand dryer.


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