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Idle Time At Work Is Costing Employers A Whopping $1 Billion A Year (And We Almost Feel Bad)

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Whether you'd like to admit it or not, you're guilty of idle time at work. No? You don't think so? OK, let's rattle off a few scenarios — taking an extra few minutes at lunch, running outside for a smoke break, sending a few texts to your girlfriend, browsing mindless content on the internet — are these things starting to look familiar? We bet they are. No judgement, guys. We're guilty of it too! It's only natural to find ways to cope with the 8+ hour work day. In fact, we think it's healthy to take some downtime to compose yourself and oh, we don't know, F'in breathe. That being said, this idle time is costing employers a boat load of money and frankly, we don't know how to feel about it.

According to HR Drive:

"A new study on the downside of idle time in the workplace found that when employees anticipate down time at the end of a task, their work speed slows and the time to complete the task lengthens. University of Texas researchers focused their study on employees who don't have enough work to fill their days and are left with hours of idle time."

Not to be rude, but who are these people without enough work to fill their days? Sure, we've heard of blowing off work, but not having enough? Erm, seems like a stretch. We're wondering if the people conducting this study were being entirely unbiased. Then again, maybe we're just trying to make ourselves feel better — yeah, that's most likely the case. They continued:

"A new study on the downside of idle time in the workplace found that when employees anticipate down time at the end of a task, their work speed slows and the time to complete the task lengthens. University of Texas researchers focused their study on employees who don't have enough work to fill their days and are left with hours of idle time."

A simple way to remedy this situation would be to allow employers to pace the day at their comfort level. Unfortunately, many businesses are unable to follow a "less conventional/structured" work day. It's not always a matter of old school thinking, sometimes it's the field. For example, heart surgeons can't very well plan their days on their own terms, but, hey! As writers, we can, so, boo-yah for us.

Lead Image Via Getty

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