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The typical worker now spends an hour-a-day carrying out non work-related tasks at their desk, it has been revealed. Researchers found online banking, replying to personal emails, searching for holidays and even shopping or browsing for new clothes on the internet account for the majority of the sixty minutes spent on personal admin each day.
Other distractions while at work include checking the weather forecast, reading news sites and browsing or updating social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
It also emerged that only 88% of the day is actually spent working with almost an hour of each day spent on personal tasks.
Andy Oldham, Managing Director at the UK’s biggest cashback site Quidco, which commissioned the research, said:
”Everyone gets distracted at work, and it seems many workers are spending a large chunk of their working hours concentrating on personal jobs instead.
”And with good internet access on our mobile phones now, shopping and surfing the internet for personal reasons are no longer reserved only for those who work in front of a computer.
”It’s so easy to spend on the internet now with pretty much everything you need available online, meaning that a huge amount of people literally splash the cash, as they earn it.
”If you are someone who shops from your desk, using discount vouchers and buying through a cashback site can at least limit the dent you are making in your wages, before you’ve even technically earned them.”
The study, of 2,000 workers, found that an average of seven personal tasks are carried out during work hours every day – a total of 35 each week.
And an average of 58 minutes dedicated to non-work activities every day means that more than half a day of each working week is spent on anything other than the job they are paid to do.
Online shopping and banking during work hours will also see workers spend an average of £41.01 from their desks each week – a total of £3,813.93 every year.
Online banking is the most common personal task Brits carry out at work, with more than a third admitting they regularly check their bank account from their desk.
Checking the weather forecast for the days ahead came second, followed by replying to personal emails and reading news websites.
Almost one in four have also spent their work hours researching holidays and shopping around for the best deal.
Paying bills, browsing and buying new clothes, looking at social networking sites and even calling friends and family completed the top ten.
Other personal tasks regularly carried out during work hours include searching for discount codes and vouchers, buying and selling on sites such as eBay and comparing insurance prices.
Booking holidays, updating social networking profiles and keeping up-to-date with the latest sports news were also featured in the top 20.
But while 38% of workers said they tend to do their own personal jobs during a quiet spell at work, a quarter say it is usually something that can only be done between 9am and 5pm.
Another 22% say they simply don’t have time to do it in the evenings, while 20% admit it is usually just because they are bored.
More than one in ten even say that as their colleagues do it, they think it’s only fair that they get to do the same.
But almost a fifth of workers have missed a deadline or not got their work done at all because they were too busy doing their own personal tasks.
And three in ten workers even admitted they’ve had days where they have spent more time on their own errands than they have on their work-related jobs.
45% of workers even claimed they would be more likely to, or spend longer taking care of their own tasks during work hours if their boss was out of the office or couldn’t see their screen.
Researchers also found that one in four are more likely to carry out non work-related activities or online shopping during nice weather.
Almost half of those put this down to being in a better mood when the sun is out, while 26% need to make some last minute purchases such as summer clothes or garden toys and furniture to make the most of the nice weather.
But 18% admitted it’s because they find it hard to focus on work when the sun is shining outside.
TOP TWENTY PERSONAL ADMIN TASKS IN THE OFFICE
1. Online banking
2. Check the weather forecast
3. Check/reply to personal emails
4. Read news sites
5. Research holidays and search for best deals
6. Pay bills
7. Browse clothes online
8. Browse social network sites
9. Call friends/relatives
10. Online clothes shopping
11. Book a holiday online
12. Update social network sites
13. Arrange nights out with friends
14. Book dentists/Drs appointments
15. Look for discount codes
16. Look at photos
17. Call companies and organisations for personal reasons
18. Read sports updates
19. Shop or sell on eBay
20. Compare insurance prices