Employees feel they waste 15 weeks of year on ‘pointless’ tasks, poll claims

Unnecessary admin and meetings eating up workers' time at businesses 'stuck in dark ages'

Emma Elsworthy
Tuesday 11 June 2019 17:24 BST
Employees spend 15 weeks each year on 'pointless' jobs at work, poll finds
Employees spend 15 weeks each year on 'pointless' jobs at work, poll finds

Employees believe they waste almost 15 weeks of the year on average carrying out “pointless” tasks in the workplace, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 workers found typically 142 minutes a day – more than two hours – are spent doing admin, paperwork and attending meetings when they could be getting on with more important jobs.

This equates to 76 working days across a 48-week year, assuming workers take four weeks of annual leave.

At least 26 minutes of every seven-and-a-half-hour day is spent working out how to use old or failing technology, respondents said.

Around half an hour is spent attending meetings which could be done in a fraction of the time, while workers try to battle their way through time-consuming conversations with colleagues and clients for another 34 minutes.

Completing mountains of unnecessary paperwork dominates another 29 minutes of the day, while 24 minutes are spent on processes such as claiming expenses and manual documentation.

Technology could be to blame for much of the day’s wasted time, as 44 percent of respondents said their company’s tech is “woefully outdated”.

“Activities such as claiming expenses, processing invoices and auditing shouldn’t take much time at all, and yet for many businesses stuck in the dark ages, they are,” said Adam Reynolds, chief executive at Webexpenses, which conducted the poll. “As this study found, workers feel the brunt of a business which isn’t set up efficiently, as they spend hours and hours on tasks which could be done in half the time.

“Workers are understandably frustrated that they are unable to carry out the jobs they are being paid to do, as they are spending too much time on pointless processes.”

Researchers found 55 percent of those polled are completely aware of the fact much of their working day is taken up with essential tasks, chores and admin which isn’t part of their job role, while 50 percent felt they often duplicate their efforts due to a lack of co-ordination between systems and departments.

The amount of time spent on administration also has cost implications for businesses as 45 percent of staff often don’t complete any of the work they are paid to do.


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