- Survey finds that workers spend much more time away from their daily tasks than anticipated
- While the average respondent believed they only took 42 minutes for breaks, the figure increased to 2.7 hours when factoring in other factors unrelated to work
- Many small breaks are essential, but others may be more concerning for employers
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Company policies typically allow employees to spend a small portion of their workday taking a break, such as a dedicated time to have lunch or recharge with a cup of coffee. But a recent survey suggests that smaller distractions are adding up to much more time away from their tasks each day.
The online games platform Solitaired polled 1,241 Americans who work desk jobs of 40 hours a week. While the average respondent thought that they took just 42 minutes in breaks on the typical workday, this tally jumped to 2.7 hours when they factored in considerations such as bathroom breaks, meals, social media, caring for pets or children, co-worker conversations unrelated to work, and errands.
While 89 percent thought they took breaks of less than one hour each day, only 9 percent actually did. Eighty percent spent two hours or more away from their tasks during the workday.
- The site notes how many of these breaks are healthy, such as time to connect with co-workers or eat lunch, but others could be more concerning to employers; for example, the average respondent estimated that they spend 25 minutes during the workday on entertainment, such as watching TV or visiting social media sites
- The majority of respondents acknowledged that they use personal e-mail, texts, or other messaging apps during the workday
- Respondents estimated that they spend about half the day multitasking, such as working while eating instead of taking a lunch break
- Among those participating in remote work, 78 percent said they thought they did more multitasking while working from home while 59 percent said it took them longer to complete their work remotely than it does in the office