Office Workers are Skipping Bathroom Breaks to Meet Deadlines: Workfront Survey

December 28, 20158:19 am407 views

A survey released last month by Workfront, the leading provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management solutions, and conducted online in July 2015 by Harris Poll among more than 600 employed adults who work at a company with 500 or more employees and work on a computer and collaborate with other people (“office workers”), found that the majority of office workers (52%) admit to delaying going to the bathroom to meet a deadline.

One reason surrounding the challenges of finding time for “essentials” is that office workers find themselves too busy doing other non-essential tasks. The vast majority (89%) of office workers say one or more factors get in the way of them doing their work.

In fact, office workers state that less than half (45.7%) of their workweek is actually spent performing the duties of their primary job. Top offenders are “wasteful” meetings (57%), excessive emails (40%), unexpected phone calls (37%), and excessive oversight (35%).

In addition to not being able to focus on their “real work”, 82% of office workers state they log into work/work email before or after standard business hours, with more than half (52%) doing so every day during a typical workweek. Nearly three-fourths (72%) log into work/work email on the weekend, with 39% doing so every weekend.

The survey further shows those who work outside standard business hours, they do so primarily to get ahead of their work (52%) or because they feel they have too much work to do (39%). Quarters (25%) of workers feel that it is expected at their company.

“It isn’t a secret that many companies expect employees to do more with fewer resources,” said Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Workfront.

See: Is Your Office Temperature Set Right to Maximise Productivity?

“Although employees can’t always control the amount of work coming in, they can definitely utilize technology to improve work efficiency. By implementing work management tools, like Workfront, workers have a single tool that allows complete visibility and a single source of truth into the work being done and eliminates the need for unnecessary status meetings or digging through an endless chain of emails for the status on a project.”

While the picture looks bleak, not all is bad in the world of work. Although office workers may delay bathroom breaks and spend more time in meetings than necessary, the lunch “hour” still lives on with 76% of workers stating they take a half hour or more for lunch.

Also, most office workers feel that technology helps to improve productivity. More than 9 in 10 office workers who access work information from anywhere (94%) say it has a positive impact on productivity, as do roughly 8 in 10 of those who use mobile devices (82%) or project management software (79%).

Whether to catch up on the work they couldn’t get to during their normal nine-to-five or to score political points, the vast majority of office workers are making logging in outside of standard business hours their standard. In this struggle for more hours, the lunch hour is no longer an hour for most, and office workers are not above delaying a restroom break for the sake of productivity.

Office workers continue to report that, despite the challenges they face, many of the major factors behind work satisfaction are still in order. Nearly all employees, for instance, feel productive at their jobs and have some kind of support system at work. Most interesting was the change in the percentage who reported that their boss listens to them.

During a typical work week, how often do you log into work/work email before or after standard business hours? This can be from the office, home, or another location.

Also read: Workers Plagued with Misconceptions about Productivity: Survey Reveals

Image credit: foh.hhs.gov

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