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Procrastination Is Costing UK Businesses £21 Billion a Year

22nd January 2020

Photograph of Procrastination Is Costing UK Businesses £21 Billion a Year

New survey reveals the average UK worker spends 2 hours and 9 minutes each day procrastinating.

If you often find yourself drifting off and wasting time at work, you're not alone. A new study has revealed the true extent of the UK's procrastination problem. The survey, commissioned by musicMagpie, found that the average Brit spends 2 hours and 9 minutes each day procrastinating at work, which is costing businesses over £21 billion per year.

Unsurprisingly, phones are a major source of procrastination, with the average UK worker spending 28 minutes each day using messaging apps, 7 minutes on Instagram, 16 minutes on Facebook and 5 minutes on Twitter.

Here's a breakdown of the top ways Brits are wasting time at work:

Messaging on your phone - 28 minutes

Daydreaming - 20 minutes

Gossiping - 18 minutes

Going on Facebook - 16 minutes

Reading the news - 15 minutes

Online shopping - 9 minutes

Going to the toilet for a poo - 9 minutes

Going on Instagram – 7 minutes

Going on Twitter – 5 minutes

Going for a cigarette break – 4 minutes

Men are the bigger time-wasters, procrastinating for 2 hours 51 minutes each day, compared to just 1 hour 52 minutes for women.

Glasgow was crowned the procrastination capital of the UK, with workers spending an average of 3 hours 4 minutes wasting time each day. At the other end of the scale, workers in Nottingham are wasting the least time, with an average of just 1 hour and 18 minutes of procrastination.

The research also looked at which sectors suffered the most from procrastination. Beauty and wellbeing came out on top, with a whopping 4 hours and 57 minutes of procrastination, followed by IT/Digital with 4 hours and 2 minutes. Agriculture and environment came out as the sector with the least procrastination, with just 57 minutes per day.

Using their findings, musicMagpie have created a procrastination calculator, allowing you to find out how much you're being paid to procrastinate at work!

To explore the full set of results and see how much you're getting paid to procrastinate, visit the musicMagpie website: