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Goofing Off at Work Has Gotten More Inventive

Many employees are more old school when it comes to goofing off at work. They’re gossiping, schmoozing with co-workers, or taking smoke or snack breaks  

| BY Donald Liebenson

 


Employee engagement with their job is at a year low, according to recent Gallup survey.

The evidence? A wealth of distractions—some quite bizarre—as identified by CareerBuilder that show employees’ minds are not fully on their work. Technology, for one, is a major productivity-killer, CareerBuilder finds. A majority of surveyed workers (52 percent) report being on their cell phones and/or texting, while 44 percent are preoccupied by the Internet. Just over one-third (36 percent) are focused on social media while three-in-ten are sending emails.

Other employees are more old school when it comes to goofing off at work. They’re gossiping (44 percent), schmoozing with co-workers who drop by or taking smoke or snack breaks (27 percent).

The percentage of American employees engaged in their jobs—meaning they are enthusiastic about and committed to their work-- averaged 31.5 percent in May, Gallop determined from its survey of 6,976 adults. That reading is basically unchanged from January, March and April (31.7 percent), but still the lowest in the year thus far.

The above noted distractions are typical is most offices. Not so typical; taking a sponge bath in the bathroom sink. This is just one of the most jaw-dropping activities employees have been caught doing while they should have been working. One would be hard-pressed to explain these to Human Resources: 

·         Employee was trying to hypnotize other employees to stop their smoking habits.

·         Employee was looking for a mail order bride.

·         Employee was playing a video game on their cell phone while sitting in a bathroom stall.

·         Employee was drinking vodka while watching Netflix.

·         Employee was sabotaging another employee’s car tires.

·         Employee was sleeping on the CEO’s couch.

·         Employee was writing negative posts about the company on social media.

·         Employee was sending inappropriate pictures to other employees.

·         Employee was searching Google images for "cute kittens.".

·         Employee was printing pictures of animals, naming them after employees and hanging them in the work area.

What are the costs of this goldbricking?. Productivity killers can lead to negative consequences for the organization, including:

·         Compromised quality of work (45 percent)

·         Lower morale because other workers have to pick up the slack (30 percent)

·         Negative impact of boss/employee relationship (25 percent)

·         Missed deadlines (24 percent)

·         Loss in revenue (21 percent)

What are employers doing about it? Nearly three-fourths have taken at least one step to mitigate productivity killers, such as blocking certain Internet sites (33 percent) and banning personal calls/cell phone use (23 percent).

 



About the Author


Donald Liebenson

dliebenson@millionairecorner.com

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.