The British. While we may be known for having a stiff upper lip, or for being slightly eccentric, it seems we’re also getting a name for ourselves as a lazy nation – and this could be affecting business significantly.
Laziness in our personal life – from driving when we could walk or cycle, to putting off shopping around for cheaper insurance or ‘not being bothered’ to take unwanted clothes back for a refund is estimated to cost the average Brit £17,000 over the course of their lifetime. Moreover, at seems that we are liable to continue being lazy when we are at work.
A recent report suggests that 89% of us waste time at work. While nearly 80% of us will own up to wasting between half an hour to 2 hours, around 10% are wasting over 3 hours, and some even 5 hours or more. That is a huge amount of laziness!
Why do we do it, and how can we stop
So why – and how – do we waste time and what can we do about it? It seems that the main distraction causing us to waste time is (you guessed it) the internet – not specifically social media, although that does feature as a time waster. Interestingly enough, people who responded to the survey suggested work related activities such as unnecessary meetings or dealing with annoying colleagues also contributed to the time wasting they were referring to.
While a significant number of the respondents to a survey thought that taking short breaks (to check their Facebook pages?) actually increased productivity, 20% of people wasted time because they were uninterested in their job, and others stated a lack of incentive or low pay as a reason to waste time – laziness presumably preventing them from applying for other?
What is the effect on business?
Moreover, so what does this mean for business? Well, in July 2014, the British rate of productivity was a staggering 21% lower than the rest of the G7 group of countries. There have been several reports of unemployed Brits turning their nose up at work in favour of remaining on benefits because the work available – sandwich making for supermarkets, for example – is just too hard.
It seems that to motivate the British workforce; we need to offer more challenging roles and incentivise people to perform. Bad management and a lack of motivation are all factors contributing to this culture of laziness, but perhaps we all have a responsibility to tackle our own laziness both at home and at work.