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Procrastinating Professionals Costing Businesses up to 36 Working Days a Year


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

According to the latest research from CV-Library , the UK’s leading independent job site, one in four (23.4%) 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%) 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:

  • Texting or using instant messaging – 42%
  • Browsing social media – 25.2%
  • Replying to personal emails – 23.1%
  • Online shopping – 17.2%
  • Making phone calls to friends or family – 10.1%

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%) explaining that it’s because they’re bored. What’s more, 23.3% claim it’s because they don’t like their job and a further 22% 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.”

Check out CV-Library’s advice on how to stop boredom at work 


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


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