Your Employees Read My Articles On Company Time

    July 11, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A survey from service provider AOL and career site say employees spend two hours a day surfing the Web.

It’s not quite the fall of the Roman Empire, since it wasn’t worth as much even after adjusting for inflation, but says employers spent $755 billion USD per year on salaries for time spent browsing the Web instead of being productive.

Employers apparently expect employees to goof off a bit each day, about an hour’s worth, but not two hours. And that doesn’t include lunch or breaks.

The jointly conducted poll showed that 44.7 percent of the over 10,000 respondents cited Internet surfing as the number one workplace distraction. Personal business, “spacing out,” running errands, and personal phone calls round out the top five distractions.

It’s enough to drive employers to, well, distraction.

Older employees proved less vulnerable to the siren song of the Internet than younger employees. Those venerable people born from 1930-1949 only waste about thirty minutes per day. Employees in their early to mid-20s chalked up nearly two hours of goofing off in comparison.

However, there was workplace equality among the genders. Men and women wasted nearly equal amounts of time; the survey claims (I repeat, the survey claims, not me) that human resource managers suspected women wasted more time at work than men.

And if you are a Missouri, Indiana, or Kentucky employer (sorry, boss), you’ve got the worst slackers in the country on your staff. South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Hawaii were equally rated for the least amount of time wasted per day by staffers.

The survey assumes an average salary of $39,795 per year, or a rate of $19.13 per hour. With 132 million non-farm workers wasting $5,720 salary dollars per year, the end figure comes to over $755 million USD.

(I’m glad I’m finally done with this article, I can finally get back to that sudoku puzzle in the Times…)

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.