Saturday, December 10, 2005

Wasting Time At Work

How much time do workers waste at work? According to Microsoft, it's two days per week:
In the U.S, the biggest productivity pitfalls were procrastination - picked by 42 percent of those polled - lack of team communication (39 percent), and ineffective meetings (34 percent). Global numbers were quite different. There, procrastination got 29 percent of the vote, while unclear objectives and ineffective meetings garnered 32 percent.

More than a third of the hours down the tubes are those wasted in meetings, said American respondents, who estimated that they spent 5.5 hours in meetings per week, with 71 percent of those workers feeling meetings are unproductive.
Ah yes... The glorious meeting. I once worked at an organization which appointed a committee to pick the decor for the restrooms. They met for a couple of months, looking at various wallpaper and wall covering samples, and after many hours of diligent work... picked beige paint and a 6" wallpaper accent around the ceiling. But then, the meetings on more weighty issues never seemed to produce any meaningful results.

According to CNN/Money, it's more like 1.5 days per week... based upon a more management-friendly definition of wasting time:
By "wasting time," all that's meant is time spent on the job not doing actual work, said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of

(Tempting though it may be to include, it doesn't mean all that time you spend in pointless meetings or carrying out inane requests from the boss.)
Apparently we waste an average of 2.09 hours per day, when managers expect us to waste only one.

By we, of course, I mean you. If you look at the number of hours attorneys bill in a typical week, you will immediately recognize that lawyers don't waste time and maintain peak productivity even when working 70 hours per week. (Bill padding, you say? No, really - it's our exceptional productivity.)

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