Inefficient Office Practices


British employees are wasting up to 640 hours – that is 80 working days every year – as a result of inefficient office practices.

New research suggests that the average office worker is losing nearly three hours (160 minutes) of potentially productive time every day. According to the research, the number one time wasting culprit is technology, with slow personal computers (PCs), computers crashing and print jams causing the average British employee to waste up to 48 mins each day. Office-based employees also cited that dealing with colleagues can be a time drain, with the average employee wasting 34 minutes on this every day. This is closely followed by time spent dealing with unnecessary phone and conference calls (26 minutes per day) and attending unnecessary meetings (23 minutes per day).

It is true that no office can ever be 100% efficient, but it’s ironic that so much time is being wasted on the very devices that we trust to streamline office processes.

Whilst we all accept that the phone and PC have a vital role to play in making the office more efficient, it would seem that office workers believe they can also complicate life – 55% of office-based employees believe technology can create extra work and just over half (53%) disagree that office processes are now simpler than 10 years ago. Furthermore, 73% of those interviewed cited unnecessary emails and 88% unnecessary telephone calls as frustrating. In fact, the barrage of unwanted communication has become so bad that nearly one quarter (23%) of office workers interviewed are considering a career change to a new non office-based job.

Despite this general antipathy towards technology however, 90% of office workers surveyed agree that automated systems which only need to be set up once – such as efficient time and attendance clocking machines – help to run their lives effectively.

With a high proportion of British full-time employees working long hours, psychologists believe that British businesses may be able to cut down on working hours by addressing such inefficiencies.

Top office time wasters in every day office life:


Slow PC /PC crashing and general technological failures/errors and print jams (48 mins)
Time wasted dealing with colleagues (34 mins)
Unnecessary phone /conference calls (26 mins) Unnecessary meetings (23 mins)
Sifting through unnecessary e-mails (16 mins)

  • Searching for files / info that hasn’t been filed in the right place (13 mins)


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