Machine Design

Two days a week are a waste of time

Microsoft says workers who responded to an online Office survey reported two days out of the workweek were a waste of time, with U.S. workers blaming procrastination as the top cause.

According to the survey of nearly 40,000 people in 200 countries, workers clock an average of 45 hr/wk, but consider about 17 hr of that unproductive. U.S. workers, however, believe only 16 hr are wasted.

In the U.S, the biggest productivity pitfalls were procrastination — picked by 42% of those polled. Thirtynine percent chose lack of team communication and 34% picked ineffective meetings. More than a third of the hours down the tubes are those wasted in meetings, said American respondents, who estimated that they spent 5.5 hr in meetings per week, with 71% of those workers feeling meetings are unproductive. E-mail was also blamed. U.S. workers said they receive an average of 56 e-mail messages each day.

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