The average employee wastes 70% of their work day

The average employee only performs real work for less than half of their scheduled shift.

What are your office employees doing instead of work? A whole lot of time-wasting activity, according to a study . A survey of about 2,000 office workers reveal employees spend the majority of their workday on the following activities:

Checking social media – 44 minutes (spent doing this during working day)
Reading news websites – 1 hour 5 minutes
Discussing out of work activities with colleagues – 40 minutes
Making hot drinks – 17 minutes
Smoking breaks – 23 minutes
Text/instant messaging – 14 minutes
Eating snacks – 8 minutes
Making food in office– 7 minutes
Making calls to partner/ friends – 18 minutes
Searching for new jobs- 26 minutes

The actual time spent working is only about 2.5 hours. of an 8.8 hour work day. This means that nearly 70% of potential productivity is wasted on non-work activities in your average office building.

This shows a lack of engagement and great opportunity to improve. With payroll being the top expense for most businesses, it only makes sense to not continue wasting 70% of the time you pay employees to work for you.

Want to see how your office measures up to the average? Download our free job time assessment and get looking at what tasks take the most time.

To get started reclaiming the work day for your business, check out this article on free time-management tools.

Free time-management tools

The best workplaces are a mix of work and play. An employee who is utterly miserable will not perform quality work on a consistent basis and a workplace full of bean-bag chairs and smoothie machines may inhibit the actual work-day.

A good happy medium? A solid set of goals and benchmarks to make sure your business gets its business done, an accountability system to prevent “ghost employees,” and enough flexibility and freedom to allow employees to squeeze in enough fun to make their workplace worth returning to.

To set these goals and benchmarks, you’re going to want the right time management and productivity tools for the job. The Little Fish Team has used some of the following to increase their productivity, and wants to share them with you.


Getting started on Todoist is simple with a bright and user-friendly interface. Lists can be made in the form of “Projects.” Projects can be shared between multiple people and added/edited as needed. You can set recurring tasks and synchronize due dates with a calendar. The price is right too: Free. Todoist also offers a full-feature version which allows commenting and more tasks per a project. Little Fish has gotten along well just operating on the free version and we’ve found our productivity increased by about 20% just using this program.


Slack is all about communication and sharing. It’s like a mini-social media for work. Share files, set meetings, and schedule phone calls. It’s a great place to one-stop your communication and the free version allows small teams to really connect. Be careful though: this great communication tool can easily turn into a time-waster if its not utilized properly.

Doodle Poll

Doodle is a must for the Little Fish Team. On large projects or when working with multiple client’s departments and team schedules, it is nearly impossible to get a meeting set up through email. The best free solution we’ve found has been Doodle’s schedule software, allowing our team to set a list of available meetings and then allow the rest of the attendees to narrow down their availability. The result? Meetings get scheduled in half the time and nobody says that they need a different schedule.

How to change a toxic work-culture in 5 steps

Employers have the joy and pain of being responsible for the culture of their workplace. When culture becomes toxic, it is on the head of leadership to find fixes. Most leaders would prefer to hear otherwise, but here’s the tough truth: your work culture may or may not have been created by you, but it is up to you to change it.

So, where do you start?

1. Asses the current culture of your company. A company assessment can take various forms: a survey, a meeting, an anonymous reporting box. Whatever the method, it is important to find ways to ask questions that will give you an understanding of the underlying realities of employees’ lives at your company.

Ask questions of yourself and others like:
What’s a common trait among employees?
Why do employees continue to work for you? Why do they leave?
What’s the thing that helps employees “get ahead” in your company?
What are the biggest strengths of the organization? What are its weaknesses?

The answers to these questions give you a baseline for where you’re at right now and help you to plan your next moves.

2. Evaluate your findings. Once you’ve collected answers to the above questions, it is time for you to begin looking at the results. What trends and patterns are you seeing? What responses are equal? What trends are missing that should be there?

3. Plan your next moves. Once you’ve got a picture of your organization’s current state, you can begin planning the way forward. Set your goals and the clear vision for the future state of the organization. Consider what you would like the organization to look like. What kind of productivity goals will you have for your organization? How many employees? What roles will you create? Do any need to be eliminated? This step must not be settled on lightly. The goal, once set, should be extremely difficult to change. Making changes in the middle of the pursuit of the cultural change, can slow your progress and cause confusion. Additionally, introducing multiple or conflicting goals can breed change-exhaustion and contribute to both toxic workplace culture and change-resistance. Set a goal that is long-term, achievable, and important enough to warrant the effort you are going to put forth to make a real change.

4. Set timelines. Setting realistic timelines cements your goals and helps to ensure that you’re going to make a change happen. Setting timelines involves planning how much you can achieve within the time allotted and also involves making sure that everyone who is integral to driving a workplace change is on-board and ready to make that change happen.

5. Be consistent and rally the team. As you work towards your goals, be consistent in your communication and messaging. When you settle on a timeline, make sure that everyone involved knows about the timelines and understands their roles and responsibilities. Assign tasks carefully and don’t hesitate to make sure they are achieved. Check in with your team to monitor benchmarks and consistently remind your team of the vision ahead. Communicate with pictures and graphs that show the long-term vision. Celebrate the small achievements and progress along the way. Re-adjust the steps if you find that it is absolutely necessary, but do not change the goal.