Expecting 100% productivity from employees during every second of every 40-hour working week is unreasonable.
With everything from doctor appointments to toilet breaks keeping us from our desks, Inn Supplies, a retailer of soup containers, investigates how much time you spend actually working:
Visits to the doctors
On average we’ll take six trips to the doctors each year, with every appointment taking roughly 10 minutes. Considering time spent travelling to the surgery and in the waiting room itself, the time we’re away from our desk is a lot longer than this..
Vitals.com states that we spend 21 minutes per trip in the waiting room. If we assume travelling to and from the surgery will take around 30 minutes in total, this — added to the 10 minute consultation time — means we’re away from our desks for around an hour each time we visit the doctors, costing employers the hourly rate of £14.38.
Assuming three of these appointments take place during the working week, we would earn £43.14 over the course of the year just for visiting the doctor. For a workforce of 50, employers could lose £2,157 per year on doctor’s appointments alone.
Your employer loses: £179.75 per month.
You earn: £14.38 per appointment.
On average, we’ll go to the loo six or seven times a day and get paid every time! Basing our calculations on the average employee visiting the loo three times at work, with each lasting four minutes, you’ll earn 96p each time you go to the toilet.
Taking into consideration the number of employees in a workplace, the money adds up. For example, an employer with a 50-strong workforce will face a loss of £144 per day through toilet trips. There are 232 working days in the average year excluding holidays, over this time, a company of this size can expect to spend £33,408 on toilet breaks alone.
Your employer loses: £2,880 per month.
You earn: £57.60 per month.
For smokers, cigarette breaks are a staple of the working day. A study found that employees who smoke cost their employer £1,815 over the course of the year.
One in five British workers smoke. In a 50-strong workforce, this means employers can spend £18,150 on cigarette breaks over the course of a year.
Your employer loses: £1,512.50 per month.
You earn: £151.25 per month.
Whether it be bad traffic or sleeping through your alarm, we’ve all accidentally been late to work once or twice. In 2012, research found that just one late employee loses 97 minutes per month on average. Assuming an average UK salary of £27,600, employees on this pay scale earn £14.38 per hour. With this in mind, 97 minutes of lateness costs employers £23.25 in lost time per employee each month.
CareerBuilder research has found that 16% of employees are late every week. This means that in a business with 50 employees, eight employees are late each week. Assuming this lateness equates to the monthly average of 97 minutes, this could cost a business around £186 each month just on employee lateness.
You earn: £23.25 per month.
Your employer loses: £186 per month.
Everyday we face many distractions as we try to work, with the main one being the use of our mobile phones.
Research by CareerBuilder tells us that, 55% of employees use their mobile phone for personal use in the workplace. It’s unknown just how much time is wasted on mobile phones per day, however, if we assume that employees use their phone at work 15 minutes each day— be it texting, calling or using social media — employers are paying out £3.60 to each employee each day on mobile phone use.
Going back to the 50-employee example, this means employers are faced with a £100.80 cost each day, or £23,386 over the course of a year.
Your employer loses: £2,016 per month.
You earn: £72 per month.
In total, non-smoking employees earn £1,877.34 from lateness, toilet breaks, doctors’ appointments and distractions over the course of a year. That’s almost £1900 spent on doing absolutely nothing. This figure is even higher for smokers at £3,692, once the averaged costs of cigarette breaks are factored in. For employers with 50 staff members, the total cost is a staggering £79,333 per year, giving new meaning to the phrase time is money.