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Why we waste time at work




Did you know you are bored at work? Yep, you are bored. You only need to be a little bored to come up with ways to waste time. You might not even realize what's happening.

One of those ways you are wasting time is by trolling the Internet. I know, it's pretty darn hard sometimes to overcome the temptation that lies at our fingertips. When a task seems tedious, we need an escape and are finding it by peeking at Facebook statuses or seeing who has pinned that perfect dinner recipe on Pinterest. Often, we use our smartphones, especially if those sites are blocked on our work computers.

Young workers are most guilty wasting time at work. "Americans are not being challenged at work and that's a big problem, especially for the Millennials," explains productivity expert Andre Angel. In a recent Salary.com poll, 64 percent of employees said they visit non-work related websites every day during work hours.

There are other issues going on, too. Some of us waste time because we like the idea of working under pressure. I'm so guilty of this. The more time I have to work on a story, the more I waste time checking email and perusing Twitter. For those of you like me, waiting until the last minute when time forces us to finish a project can make a procrastinator's work day more exciting. The big drawback here is the toll on work life balance.  Wasting time and then scurrying to get the job done usually has some ugly consequences. 

Others waste time because they don't even know what they are supposed to be accomplishing. This is pretty pathetic and happening more often than we care to admit. CareerBuilder.com explains that in many workplaces, no one has taken the time to throughly explain to younger workers the task that needs to get done. These workers want to look busy and feel the need to put in face time, so they waste a lot of the day without ever getting to the real work to be done.

To avoid wasting time at work, experts suggest we get clear on what's really importrant to accomplish on a particular day, exactly how to go about it, and hold ourself accountable.

However, there are people who feel strongly that we need to waste some time during the day to keep us from losing our minds. Rudy Karsan, CEO of Kenexa, spoke on the topic on Salary Talk: "Basically, younger workers are coming in and saying 'I'm going to be at my desk, I'll continue working, then I'm going to get distracted by doing some shopping or watching YouTube, then I'll come back and do my job."

One company, WorkMeter, has come up with productivity software to monitor how much time someone wastes on the web.

Would you admit to wasting time during your work day? Do you feel like you would want to make a change or is wasting some time necessary for keeping your sanity?