As workers admit to spending parts of their working days texting, shopping and browsing social media

According to the latest research from CV-Library , one in four (23.4 per cent) UK professionals admit to spending up to 21 hours each month doing personal activities (such as texting and internet shopping) during worktime. That’s the equivalent of 2.8 full working days lost every month, or seven weeks each year.

The survey aimed to find out how much time employees spend procrastinating during the working day and the impact this has on UK businesses. Interestingly, the study found that two thirds (62 per cent) of workers believe that employees have the right to procrastinate every now and then.

Employees were also asked to reveal what they do when procrastinating at work, the top five activities include:

  1. Texting or using instant messaging – 42 per cent
  2. Browsing social media – 25.2 per cent
  3. Replying to personal emails – 23.1 per cent
  4. Online shopping – 17.2 per cent
  5. Making phone calls to friends or family – 10.1 per cent


Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments on the findings:

Smartphones, instant messaging and social media appear to be a problem for UK businesses, with these distractions proving too hard to resist when they’re available at the click of a button. What’s more, it’s alarming that this procrastination is costing employers almost three working days every month and that’s simply per employee.

“Reduced productivity is never ideal for any business, so it’s important that the right steps are taken to tackle this problem before it worsens. Managers should consider discouraging phone use during worktimes and instead creating set times such as breaks where employees can look at their phone and do their personal errands.

“On top of this, staff should be kept engaged with regular catch-ups to find out if there’s a bigger problem that’s causing them to procrastinate.”

The survey also sought to reveal why so many professionals procrastinate at work, with one in three (34.1 per cent) explaining that it’s because they’re bored. What’s more, 23.3 per cent claim it’s because they don’t like their job and a further 22 per cent say it’s because they have little to do.

Biggins continues:

“While we all get distracted from time to time, it’s worrying to learn that so many UK workers admit to procrastinating because they’re bored or unhappy at work. Employers should consider how they can increase employee engagement through training and presenting staff with new opportunities in the workplace.

“Giving workers new responsibilities every now and then can help to switch up their daily tasks so that they don’t become bored. Employers need to consider this type of engagement if they hope to avoid workers finding more interesting opportunities elsewhere.”






Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.