Permission to slack off

Apparently, a recent survey found that American workers are a bunch of slackers — out of eight hours a day at work, they spend as much as two hours lollygagging at social networking sites like Facebook (curious that Facebook was named as a culprit), talking about nothing with coworkers and basically doing nothing.

The shock! The horror! NPR spins it as young people slacking off. The LAT says, dude — slack off, its good for you. Me? Shoot, my work is to provide you with things to read and watch as you slack off.

The actual survey press release includes some interesting tidbits though. For example — the survey found that men and women waste about the same amount of time at work, HOWEVER — HR managers suspect women waste more time. Is it because they simply talk more or because they multi-task better? I think its the latter. Also, the survey notes that HR managers actually set salaries with some slacking off time built in:

“Our survey results show that workers on average are wasting a little more than twice what their employers expect. That’s a startling figure. Although in some cases this extra wasted time might be considered ‘creative waste’ – time that may well have a positive impact on the company’s culture, work environment, and even business results. Personal Internet use and casual office conversations often turn into new business ideas or suggestions for gaining operating efficiencies.”

Let’s also not get into the fact that other countries don’t work as hard as we do — many European countries have mandated 35-hour work weeks and as much as six weeks PAID VACATION TIME. And don’t get me started on maternity leave time in Europe. Just look at it for yourself. It leaves me speechless.

So employers — don’t freak out. Especially when you call us at home, text us via Blackberry or call us in for emergency. I mean, really, we need that slack off time. You don’t want folks going postal.

Photo: Office Space, a film before its time

One thought on “Permission to slack off

  1. Karl Dahlquist

    Two hours a day? I feel this study is whacked. I spend at least three hours every two hours slacking off.

    With 8 windows open at once on my two computers, I can slack off in so many ways….I get really perturbed when someone barges into my office threatening me with real work! In fact, I have to immediately go to Starbucks to calm myself down!

    I can even slack off at Starbucks, by text messaging while in line and waiting for my drink.

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