Cell phones and personal tasks devour a full work day.

By Chris Morris
July 25, 2017

The average worker spends a full day of their work week doing things other than, well, work.

A survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam found the average office employee spends 56 minutes per day using their cell phone at work for non-work activity. That’s 43% more than the 39 minutes most managers said they thought occurred.

That works out to just under five hours per week of goofing off on phones. Personal email and social media made up the majority of the wasted time, with sports sites, mobile gaming, and shopping placing a far distant third, fourth, and fifth place.

More than half of the 600+ office employees surveyed said they used their phones to access websites blocked by company IT departments.

Phones weren’t the only ways employees waste time, though. The average employee spends 42 minutes a day—3.5 hours a week—attending to personal tasks, such as errands, according to the survey.

Added together, that’s nearly 8 hours a week of total lost productivity.

And if the office is mostly comprised of younger workers, the amount of lost time jumps dramatically. Employees ages 18 to 34 rack up 70 minutes on mobile devices and 48 minutes on personal tasks each work day—the most of all age groups—a total of just under 10 hours per week.

“It’s understandable that employees may occasionally use their mobile devices or attend to personal tasks during business hours. But these activities can easily become big distractions,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam.

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