Bob Slydell: You see, what we’re trying to do is get a feeling for how people spend their time at work so if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Bob Slydell: Great.
Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door – that way Lumbergh can’t see me, heh – after that I sorta space out for an hour.
Bob Porter: Uh? Space out?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

  

* * * *

 

Missouri is No. 1 in wasted time

By BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press

July 12, 2005

 

ST. LOUIS — If you’re on the job, and you’re reading this, you should probably get back to work.

 

The average worker wastes m ore than two hours a day, and that’s not including lunch, according to a new Web survey by America Online and Salary.com. That means companies spend as much as $759 billion on salaries annually for which they receive no apparent benefit, the research found.

 

The No. 1 state for wasting time was Missouri, where workers who responded to the survey reported slacking off 3 hours and 12 minutes a day.

 

The survey didn’t specifically look at why Missouri is the worst in the nation, but if Missouri workers think the perception is unfair, “We would encourage people to visit the home page and weigh in further on that,” said Richard Cellini, Salary.com’s head of research.

 

The survey found the top excuses for wasting time were that workers said they didn’t have enough work or were underpaid for the amount of work they do.

 

About 10,000 people responded to the poll.

 

More than 44 percent said the No. 1 way they waste time at work is personal Internet use, like reading e-mail, instant messaging, playing interactive games — and responding to online polls.

 

The second most popular, according to 23 percent of respondents, was socializing with co-workers. Other excuses included conducting personal business, spacing out, running errands and making personal phone calls.

 

Employers expect that workers will waste some time on the job, about an hour per day in addition to the lunch hour.

 

“Our survey results show that workers on average are wasting a little more than twice what their employers expect. That’s a startling figure,” said Bill Coleman, senior vice president at Salary.com.

 

He noted that some of the wasted time could be considered helpful, however, as conversations and personal Internet use can lead to new business ideas.

 

* * * *

 

Peter Gibbons: Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.

 

Nina: Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.