WASHINGTON — How much time do you spend checking your phone for emails, texts or social media updates while at work? Hours, if you’re like most office rats.
A survey of professionals by staffing firm OfficeTeam found that office workers squander an average of 56 minutes a day, or nearly five hours a week, using their mobile devices for non-work activities in the office.
Add to that another 42 minutes a day, on average, spent doing other personal tasks, and the average employee could be wasting more than eight hours per workweek on activities unrelated to their jobs.
Younger workers are even bigger offenders. Those under 35 rack up an average of 70 minutes on mobile devices and 48 additional minutes on personal tasks each work day.
“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.
“To best manage their time, staff can take advantage of breaks during lunch and throughout the day to catch up on non-work email or errands,” she said.
The phone also is a way around company policy.
OfficeTeam said 58 percent of office workers surveyed say they use their personal devices at work to visit websites that are banned by their companies, but bosses haven’t necessarily caught on, with only 39 percent of managers saying they think that happens commonly.
Sixty-eight percent of men frequently use their cellphones to access blocked websites in the office compared to 43 percent of women.
OfficeTeam’s survey included responses from more than 600 workers employed in office environments and senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.