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All work and no play?

All work and no play? An AVirtual survey shows that’s rarely the case for the full-time employed.

  • 57% of business owners believe that outsourcing work to virtual employees is more productive than having full-time in-house staff
  • 1.6 business hours wasted every day by the average employee
  • Sneaky cigarettes and social media are the biggest work-time distractions

Every employer wants to provide a happy workplace, but a recent survey by has revealed that it’s possible for staff members to feel too comfortable, with one in five (20%) employees admitting that they never spend a full eight hours per day on work-related tasks. While the average entrepreneur will spend around 16 hours in the office on a daily basis, it seems that the people they trust to get work done are actually putting in less than half of that time, with the typical worker wasting around 1.6 of the paid hours they spend at work every day.

Shockingly, 19% of employees claim they spend less than two-thirds of office hours actually working, according to the survey, and it seems that the mobile phone can take a lot of the blame. Although there is a gap between the sexes when it comes to preferred distractions, the smartphone features heavily in each group, with men more likely to spend time having cigarette breaks and playing games on their mobiles and women more likely to spend time on Instagram and online shopping. Technology isn’t the only popular reason for procrastination, however. The top distractions at work were cited as:

  • Unsurprisingly, social media was the favourite form of procrastination for 42%, with Instagram and Facebook proving the most popular
  • 35% said that exchanging the latest gossip with co-workers was a favourite way to pass the day
  • For one in three, making tea and coffee afforded a good excuse for a desk-break
  • Mobile phones provided mental play-time for 27%
  • Office visitors took 18% away from their work
  • Cigarette breaks seem to be a perennial excuse for 16% of survey respondents
  • Online shopping was a top diversion for a further one in eight.

When questioned about their ‘not-working’ habits, more than a third (34%) of employees felt they were more productive when working from home and in a separate survey more than half (57%) of all business owners felt that virtual staff hired via companies who provide such a service were more productive than employees, achieving much more on an hourly basis.

AVirtual founder and CEO Richard Walton comments: “The difference between the full-time employed and the virtual staff is that a high degree of productivity is not in the interest of the employee. As long as they get their allocated work done on a regular basis they’re guaranteed a wage and there’s no benefit to getting the job finished early – they still have to stay until the end of the day. With virtual staff they’re clocked and tracked by the minute, so every second really does count. If they work 10 hours per week for you, all 600 minutes will be filled with work.

“Virtual staff are becoming an increasingly valuable asset, particularly for SMEs,” he adds. “When every penny counts, the option of hiring a fully experienced and qualified worker from a curated platform who you can use on a project basis or in set blocks of time is appealing. When you add in the fact that these virtual workers come without the hassle of sick pay and annual leave, it makes so much more sense.”