Where does the time go? – Why and how employees are wasting time at work

We get distracted, we keep chatting with colleagues and it’s hard to stay focused and organized - We are wasting too much time at work.  This is not only a question of leadership quality but also a question of efficient time management and project planning. How can we make sure we plan and spend our time at work efficiently?

Employees do waste time at work sometimes. This is an issue most employers have to face. But the question is why and how they manage to waste time at work and how employers can stop employees from wasting time and procrastinating and motivate them to get on with their work instead. 

Facts From Around The World

United States

A study revealed that as the educational level increases, the level of focus of an individual decreases. The study showed that about 61 percent of workers with an high-school education waste less than an hour a day. The answer how people waste time at work is not shocking. Most of the time wasted at work is spent surfing the web.

Industries like technology, science, journalism and publishing are the most common jobs where employees are wasting time surfing the web due to the fact that those industries constantly require internet access and usage. It is said that more than half of the employees are visiting non-work related websites everyday during working hours due to this constant connectivity.

Great Britain

According to a survey, which looks at how people spend their time at work, British workers spend five days worth of work each year talking to colleagues and about four days making cups of coffee and tea. Shockingly about 7 days in total are spent on checking personal emails, making personal phone calls and shopping online. However, all in all it comes down to 28 days of doing non-work related things during working hours.



While we may think that social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others are the reason employees waste time at work, a study revealed that face-to-face conversations are one of the major reasons why and how people are wasting time at work in Australia.

It is said that about the half of Australians are wasting their time by talking to colleagues, followed by surfing the web, checking social media and cleaning up their work space.


Wasting time starts with leadership. The team won’t be able to perform well on a constant basis if the leader is not effective (e.g. if the leader doesn’t set any goals and expectations for the team to achieve, the team will set their own goals and do whatever and most importantly when they want, which includes wasting as much time as possible.) A survey showed that most employees who are wasting time at work stated that they were not challenged enough and they had no incentive to work harder. This comes back to the team leader as well. Overall, it can be said that when the leader does a poor job of leading, the team won’t work efficiently and waste their time at work instead.

Don’t Waste Time!

In order to prevent constant face-to-face conversations that aren’t work related, employers and leaders may provide dedicated times and zones for the employees to catch
up with their colleagues. Employees should not be left without any goals or expectations to achieve. The best way to keep employees focused is to provide “bite-sized” goals to achieve and also involve them in setting goals. Keep everyone up to date on goals and on what they have to achieve next.

TimeTac Solution

We spend too many hours wasting time at work each day. We get distracted, we keep chatting with colleagues and it’s hard to stay focused and organized.  Wasting time at work is not only a question of leadership quality but also a question of efficient time management and project planning. But how can we make sure we plan and spend our time at work efficiently?

TimeTac offers a Time Tracking software solution which helps employees to keep track of their working hours and also benefits employers: You get an overview of working hours and hours spent on each project and tasks. You can easily keep track of working hours, absences and plan projects more efficiently.

Here’s how TimeTac’s Online Time Tracking software solution can benefit your business.
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Employee Time Tracking

Our web based time tracking software is accessible via time clock, PC, Mac and smartphone. You can record working times live with a simple click. You can easily manage real time reports and get an overview of your employees’ clocking time and working hours.

Project Time Tracking

TimeTac offers a Project Time Tracking software solution for more convenient project planning. You can track time on projects, tasks, task types and clients and compare the planned and actual project progress. The software allows you to create detailed project and task structures. You can easily see exactly how much time employees spend on each activity.

Leave Management

The Leave Management and Holiday Planner software solution offers all the features you need for the efficient request and process of annual leave and vacation time. Employees can request time off within a second and the managers will receive the request for approval. TimeTac’s Leave Management software solution also shows you the employee’s entitlement and other absences planned in their department.