July 12, 2005
What we're doing online

I may not know why we're not buying DVDs any more, but I can tell you how Americans spend their time online. Not too surprisingly, gambling and naughty pictures are huge growth industries. If only the Lege could figure out how to tax them, Texas might finally have a revenue source that kept up with population growth.

That probably also explains this

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 today.


Of 10,044 employee respondents, 33 percent said they engaged in time-wasting activities because they didn't have enough work to do. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they squandered their work hours because they were underpaid.

Men and women wasted an equal amount of time at work, but older workers were significantly more attentive than younger workers, the survey showed. Workers over 55 years old wasted an average of just 30 minutes a day, according to the survey.

That would be because most of them never wanted to learn how to use those damned computers in the first place, right?

Bill Coleman, senior vice president at Salary.com, said some time-wasting activities -- such as personal use of the Internet -- can be positive, resulting in new business ideas or a happier work environment.

"There is such a thing as creative waste," said Coleman. "Not all wasted time is bad."

Yeah, that's my story, too, and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 12, 2005 to Websurfing | TrackBack

Hey, I like that idea... want to start a club or something? Strength in numbers, you know.

Posted by: stumpy on July 12, 2005 6:03 AM

"Spacing out" is just a euphemism for looking at things they shouldn't be on their workplace computers.

Personally, I spend too much time reading blogs like Off the Kuff. ;-)

Posted by: Jeff G. on July 12, 2005 7:54 AM

I think Office Space pretty much sums up what this report makes clear. My personal favorite line from the movie,

"I see you've been missing a lot of work recently, Peter."

"Well, Bob, I wouldn't say I've been missing it."

Posted by: Red Dog on July 12, 2005 9:59 AM

You know, the fact that Jeff beat me to the line I wanted to use isn't going to change my Ebay watching, NY Daily News / Newsday / SI Advance reading, baseball game listening ways. :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on July 12, 2005 10:02 AM

I think another OS quote is more on point, Red Dog:

"In any given week, I'd probably say I only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

Posted by: TP on July 12, 2005 10:57 AM

The numbers re: non-work activities aren't surprising. Several years ago, HP did a study and found that "individual contributors" (grunts) spent 40% of their time in meetings and another 10-20% in other work-related activities (such as filling out work surveys), leaving only 40% of their time on their work assignments.

Posted by: Tx Bubba on July 12, 2005 12:12 PM