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Annie Hayes

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Tea and gossip drain productivity

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A second survey in as many days has suggested that valuable time is being wasted in the office, with workers spending over an hour a day having tea and chatting with friends.

Recruitment consultants Office Angels says that workers in the UK lose 16.5 million hours every day – the equivalent of a whopping £193 million pounds.

HR Zone recently reported on similar findings by AXA, which found that 40 minutes each day is wasted in non-work related activities including gossiping, emailing and texting friends.

This latest survey suggests that a third waste more than AXA’s reported 40 minutes, spending over an hour every day being distracted from the job in hand.

Top 10 office ‘desk-tractions’:
1. Loud and very chatty colleagues (71 per cent)
2. Mobile phones left unattended (61 per cent)
3. Pointless meetings or questions (58 per cent)
4. Colleagues’ coughing and spluttering when they’re ill (44 per cent)
5. Arrival of new email (34 per cent)
6. Smell of people eating at their desk (30 per cent)
7. Instant Messenger (15 per cent)
8. Social networking sites (12 per cent)
9. Offers of a cup of tea (11 per cent)
10. An office crush (10 per cent)

David Clubb, managing director at Office Angels, said: “Desk-tractions are part of office life and of course we all actually need breaks and breathers from our work throughout the day. However, it’s important to be aware of how your seemingly innocent actions affect others and be considerate towards their working practices and needs.”

A total of 1,292 office workers were quizzed as part of the survey.

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Annie Hayes

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