Personal Web Use

Procrastinating at the day job today I was perusing the vast interwebs and stumbled upon a recent study that says the “average worker” wastes 90 minutes a day to “personal web use”, which adds up to 43 days a year! If you figure that you work about 250 days a year, that’s almost 20% that you are doing “other” things rather than what your employer would consider work.

The website breaks it down saying that about 30 minutes is spent shopping for food, clothes and vacations. 18 minutes is spent on instant messaging and networking websites take up about 14 minutes. Employees spend about 6 minutes job hunting and another 6 minutes paying the bills….

All this got me to thinking though, what did the people before my generation do to “kill time” at work. I began my career in an office in 1997 and since day one, I’ve had email, Instant messaging and the internet. Just trying to take a step back, I really don’t think that I could go through a full day at work without being connected to the outside world. Maybe if I worked in customer service, or in a factory where i was constantly busy I may be able to do it, but in an office, there is no way.

First, I figured I would have to take up smoking. That would easily kill about 5 minutes an hour, so there is 40 minutes right there. For some reason smokers in the work place get provided this unwritten luxury of needing to escape to get there nicotine fix. I don’t know what it is like where you work, but in my office, there seems to be a constant hourly parade of people sneaking out the back door, standing there mandatory 20 feet away from the building sucking down their butts. And nothing stops them. Whether it is 110 here in Phoenix, or 5 below with blizzard conditions back home, these people just never say, “nah, not this time”.

The second thing I figured I could do is go back to utilizing that other unwritten perk of the workplace, unlimited long distance. Although the phone at work doesn’t seem to get as much use for personal calls as it once did, thanks in part to the internet, there is nothing like catching up with friends afar on the companies dime. I figure about 30 minutes a day is just to enough to fly under the radar where they don’t think I’ve permanently moved to full time phone support or something.

Bam, now I’m up to 70 on cigarrettes and the phone. I just need to find another 20 and I’m good to go on a daily basis. Depending on my mood and what I had for dinner, we could probably count on a good 5 in the bathroom, so I’m left with just the 15… I guess I can use that for the “water cooler” talk that seemed to die out when the internet arrived. At my work, we have two water coolers and there hasn’t been anything more going on other than a “how’s it going” in the 9 months I’ve been there.

So, there you have it. I’ve managed to still find a way to kill 90 minutes a day without touching the web….Odds are though, I still couldn’t do it!

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06 2007
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