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Workers waste almost six hours a week thanks to office irritations

UK small business workers are losing 5.5 hours a week due to workplace irritations, research released today by Samsung Electronics has revealed.

Crashing computers and slow internet were the two biggest office bugbears
Crashing computers and slow internet were the two biggest bugbears for office workers

The findings – part of Samsung’s ‘More Good Days at Work’ initiative which shows small businesses how innovative technology can help their staff to have better days at work – uncovered the amount of lost time they face because of these distractions.

Technology issues caused the most lost time, at an average of 27 minutes a day (or just over two hours per week). Crashing computers (92%) and slow internet (92%) were the two biggest factors annoying small business workers, closely followed by no access to emails (85%).

Distractions caused by co-workers caused 22 minutes a day of downtime (just under two hours per week). Moaning (which annoys 84% of small business workers), eating loudly or messily (83%) and interruptions while talking (80%) were the biggest irritations.

General office issues contributed 19 minutes a day (1.5 hours a week) in lost time. Being too hot or too cold (82%), uncomfortable seating (81%) and a messy workplace (80%) were the top frustrations.

Samsung is now warning small businesses that lost time could just be the tip of the iceberg: three in 10 (30%) people have left a job because they were irritated by colleagues, 20% because of the workplace itself and 10% because technology was too much of a pain point.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Sir Cary L Cooper, CBE, University of Manchester – a leading expert on wellbeing and workplace issues, said: “Workplace annoyances might seem insignificant in isolation, but – combined – they add up to a lot of lost working time. This is a big issue for the UK as it currently sits 7th in the G7 and 17th in the G20 on productivity per person, showing that these distractions could be causing a big impact. With increased competition and rising costs, small businesses must address these sooner, rather than later to avoid missing out on valuable office hours and losing team members.”

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