Malaysians today may be clocking in more hours at work, but if they are anything like their American counterparts, all those hours might not actually be being spent productively.
In fact, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, American employees spend an average of 34 to 50 minutes loafing — watching YouTube videos, snacking and gossiping — on the job each day.
Surveying more than 35,000 daily activity logs of workers, the study found people waste an average of 7% of the day not working at work.
“Roughly half of this time is spent eating; the other half is spent in leisure, exercise, cleaning and other non-work activities,” the report stated.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone wasted the same proportion of the workday.
The authors explained that, all else being equal, the more someone worked, the higher the proportion of the time they slacked off — until about 43 hours a week.
The more time in the office workers logged above this level, the less they slacked off, proportionally.
“This makes sense if you believe there are a lot of undemanding jobs that still require workers to be present in the office 40 hours per week,” an article from Fortune explained.
“Jobs that require more than 43 hours of work per week are probably actually demanding in terms of hours needed to get the job done, and the long hours are about more than just giving the appearance that you are working hard.”
Perhaps this is why long working hours today aren’t translating into productivity.