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The Meetings Show

UK workers spend less than 40% of the week actually doing their job

UK workers spend less than 40% of the week actually doing their job

The modern office is filled with distractions from excessive meetings and emails eating up the majority of the day, but does that mean that we only spend around 40% of the time actually doing our job? 

A survey released by Workfront found that more and more workers are spending large portions of the work day on things other than what they were hired to do, stating that only 38% of their day is spent on their primary job duties.

The study also revealed that the top three things that got in the way of work included: wasteful meetings (62%), excessive emails (52%) and excessive oversight (39%). Not surprisingly, nearly one-third of workers (32%) stated their feelings about attending meetings could be best described with a sad face, angry face or poo emoji.

Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Workfront, said: “Meetings and email are a necessary part of today’s workplace. Unfortunately, they are often misused, decreasing, rather than increasing, productivity. Combine this will a future projected shift over the next five years away from email as the primary means of business communication and an increase in remote workers, and you have to ask, how will work get done efficiently?”

While work isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, the survey revealed several bright spots, primarily around people’s work environments and co-workers. Three-quarters of office workers stated that they love their jobs and are usually happy to be there (74%.) They also expressed that dealing with their co-workers makes them feel happy (68%) and that at least one person at work has their back (85%). Approval ratings were also high for bosses with respondents stating that they felt that their boss listened to them (85%), and they felt empowered at work (72%).

Some other interesting findings from the 2016 State of Work Report include:

  • Do not disturb: 26% of workers said uninterrupted blocks of time would help them be more productive at work, followed by more efficient work process (26%), and more/ better-qualified people and resources (19%).
  • Ding-dong the hour-long lunch is dead: 62% of general office workers take 30 minutes or less for lunch, with 28% stating they take less than 15 minutes. The top two reasons given for working through lunch were, “I am too busy for a lunch” (50%) and “I prefer to work through my lunch” (40%).
  • Watch out – work changes ahead: 37% of office workers agree that email will no longer be the main mode of communication in five years, with over half (57%) saying that the majority of workers will work remotely in the coming years.
  • Overtime on the rise: Six hours is the typical workweek for office workers in 2016. When asked how they feel about working after hours or on weekends, 69% of workers said it made them feel negative (sad face, angry face or poo emoji).