Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Slacker Inc.

A survey conducted by America Online and Salary.com says the average worker in the US is a slacker. Results from about 10,000 respondents to the survey found the typical employee spends more than two hours a day on the job not working, and that does not include lunch.

The two most popular ways of not working on the job include using the Internet and socializing with fellow employees. These activities, when channeled correctly, can generate new ideas for doing business.

"To some bosses, that's a startling figure," says Salary.com's Senior Vice President Bill Coleman. "Others, though, will view this extra wasted time as so-called 'creative waste' - wasted time that may well have a positive impact on the company's culture, work environment, and even business results."

Still, the two hours not spent in pursuit of assigned tasks is twice what employers expect from their workers, said Mr. Coleman.

According to Websense Inc.'s May survey on employee computing trends, listening to or watching streaming media is the most popular computer-based activity at work. Research firm Harris Interactive, which conducted the survey for Websense by interviewing 500 full-time employees at companies of varying size, found that 18% of employees use the Internet to listen to the radio or watch live newscasts. There are, however, legal and ethical ways that managers can effectively limit use of streaming media in the workplace.

Productivity is also being impacted by growth of blogs and the advent of blogaholics, with help and hope available for those affected.

In addition to Internet usage and socializing with fellow employees, the study lists conducting personal business, including running errands and making personal phone calls, as well as the ever-popular spacing out/daydreaming, as the reasons most give for doing something other than working on the job.

As for why workers are not working on the job, roughly one-third say they don't have enough work to do. Nearly one in four says they are intentionally less productive than they could be because they feel they are being underpaid.

For the full story please visit Aol.Salary.com.

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