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April 15, 2015

£250m – the annual cost of laziness in UK business

Brits can only work for 22 minutes uninterrupted and spend 70 working days a year distracted.

By Joao Lima

Office gossiping, loud talkers and distractions in the work place are costing the British economy £250 million every year, a Samsung Electronics commissioned survey revealed.

In partnership with Stephen Westland, Professor of Colour Science at the University of Leeds, the Ahead of the Curve Report confirmed that workers are unproductive for as many as 70 days of the year.

Furthermore, respondents themselves admitted that they only felt they achieved something 3.6 days of their working week.

Every 15 minutes, 38% of Britons turn to their email while an extra 22% of those surveyed admitted in doing so every 22 minutes.

The research found that loud talkers count for 57% of office distractions, with ringing phones making up 39% of the reasons why British workers cannot focus for long periods of time.

Over a quarter of respondents (26%) placed unnecessary meetings as the third top reason for loss of work flow, while a constant stream of email stood at 22%.

Making tea rounds, office gossips and people typing loudly ranked fifth, sixth and seventh with 19%, 16% and 12% respectively.

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|In addition to office distractions, the study also focused on the technology used within the work environment.

10% of respondents revealed they work with five or six different devices, with the average worker using two to three.

Multi-screening has kept paced with the time, with ever more workers relying on more than one display window.

From those surveyed, 54% stated that good-looking technology is important, with 38% of the nation’s workforcenot happy with the technology their office boasts.

At home, 22% of people believe they are more productive, with 32% admitting to have a dedicated workspace and 21% revealing they do dress themselves as if they were going to the office.

Despite this, 86% still confess they get side-tracked when working at home, with the main distractions noted as people they live with (36%), housework (36%), the TV (27%), and pets (15%).

Graham Long, Vice President of Samsung’s Enterprise Business Team, said: "£250 million is a big loss to the UK economy so it’s important that businesses recognise that having the right mix of technology in the workplace and fully enabling mobile working can positively impact employee productivity and engagement. Today’s workplace is an ‘always on’ environment and as workers, we are more distracted, and more connected, than ever before.

"The trend for working with more than one desktop display has been growing steadily in the past few years and it’s becoming clear that businesses are increasingly turning to a multi-screen environments to help employees manage their work content more effectively.

"With this in mind, we are launching Samsung’s Curved Monitors which are not only designed to look beautiful but have a range of features to help maintain productivity. Samsung’s Curved Monitors follow the natural curve of the human eye to deliver a more immersive, seamless and comfortable viewing experience."

Stephen Westland is Professor of Colour Science in the School of Design at the University of Leeds, commented: "Curved displays offer the potential to eliminate the need for workers to have multiple desktop monitors. This use of very large displays can lead to greater worker efficiency and satisfaction."

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