July 11, 2005

THEY GOT THE TWO RIGHT ANYWAY (via The Other Brother):

U.S. workers say they waste 2 hours a day (Reuters, 7/11/05)

U.S. workers say they squander over two hours a day at the workplace, with surfing the Web, socializing with co-workers and simply "spacing out" among the top time-wasting activities, according to a survey released on Monday.

It would be more accurate to say they do two hours of work a day.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2005 11:01 AM

Do you think they spend the other six hours posting on their blogs?

Posted by: Brandon at July 11, 2005 11:41 AM

reading them.

Posted by: oj at July 11, 2005 12:16 PM


Posted by: Brandon at July 11, 2005 12:25 PM

How about leaving pointless comments on other people's blogs?

Posted by: Kyle Haight at July 11, 2005 12:55 PM


Posted by: John Resnick at July 11, 2005 1:59 PM

Reminds me of a scene from the movie classic 'Office Space':

Bob Slydell: You see, what we're trying to do is get a feeling for how people spend their time at work so if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Bob Slydell: Great.
Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh - after that I sorta space out for an hour.
Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
Bob Slydell: I'd like to move us right to Peter Gibbons. We had a chance to meet this young man, and boy that's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.

Posted by: djs at July 11, 2005 2:02 PM

FWIW, there are many federal, state and local bureaucrats who work their butts off for well over 8 hours a day. That's not necessarily a good thing, of course.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 11, 2005 5:13 PM

Sure I only work 2 hrs per day, but it is the calming influence of my presence on the rest of the staff that makes me so valuable. It's amazing how hard they work when I'm around. Enough of this educational reading. I wonder what's new over on thesuperficial.com and Wizbang?

Posted by: Patrick H at July 11, 2005 5:29 PM

What difference does it make how many hours a day I work as long as I finish the work my company has hired me to do? People who go the extra mile for a comany that won't reward them for it are dupes and fools.

Posted by: Shelton at July 11, 2005 5:47 PM

The average American office worker works only about 3 hours a day. That is one of the biggest reasons justifying tele-commuting.

The same argument can be made for homeschooling.

Posted by: bart at July 11, 2005 8:36 PM

Telecommuting is fine for the two-three hours of work, but will never replace all the really important stuff that goes on in the other 8 or 9 hours.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 11, 2005 11:27 PM

Perhaps David is being facetious, but the definition of "work" has to be pretty narrow to yield 2-3 hours per day. In most lines of work, interaction with peers, bosses, and clients is an essential and substantial part of the day's agenda. Easily overdone and abused, but nonetheless essential. Plus, some degree of personal planning and reflection is part of being productive. Again, easily overdone or abused. But the 2-3 hours estimate doesn't pass the laugh test.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 12, 2005 12:22 AM

Yes, "interaction with peers, bosses, and clients" is the other stuff that isn't actually work.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 12, 2005 9:26 AM

When I have to work on a particularly difficult project, I prefer working out of the house when no one bothers me. I pull the phone off the hook and if anybody at work needs to get me there's always e-mail.

Client contact is what secretaries and underwriters are for. If I am needed to talk with a client when I'm working out of the house, I get the message and call as needed.

Posted by: bart at July 12, 2005 10:29 AM

I have to agree with ghostcat and disagree with Mr. Cohen.

Our group was far more successful at producing robust, implementable designs than any of our sister groups and I attribute it primarily to the "walking and talking" habits we had. The environment elsewhere was very sterile - people who transferred would always comment "it's so quiet! nobody talks". Our group, in contrast, was like a virtual Brothers Judd where ideas had to survive a barrage of attacks before being sent outside the group. It was not uncommon for a ten minute side conversation to save literally days of work. I'm not sure why Mr. Cohen thinks that advancing the company's business interests doesn't count as work unless it's done solo.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 12, 2005 11:08 AM

Yes, your employer has to pay you comensurate with the value you add, but it is only those things that you would not do unless they paid you that are "work."

Posted by: David Cohen at July 12, 2005 1:17 PM

Funny you post this now OJ. I have not been here for awhile due to this site being blocked by my employer. I finally got a VP to look at the site and lucky for me he was a conservative and now I am back. Boy I missed you guys.

Posted by: BJW at July 12, 2005 2:15 PM

There are days when I think that agency costs make the whole world go 'round (rather than just the hospitality industry).

Posted by: David Cohen at July 12, 2005 7:32 PM