We're all guilty spending the odd few minutes in our work day checking out the funny cat video or the latest trailer for Deadpool. It's a natural thing. 

However, when you add up the time spent watching said funny cat video with the time spent responding to the whatsapp group chat and tinkering with your Fantasy Football team it must account for a fair chunk of your day right? 

Well actually, not as much as you'd think. 

A group of economists - Michael Burda, Kaie Genadek, and Daniel Hamermersh - decided they wanted to find out for sure so they conducted an experiment and published their findings in the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. They used the self-reported American Time Use Survey where workers were asked to comment on their activities. 

They found that on average, workers spend 34 minutes of their day not working. Not that much right? However when they got rid of the people that said they didn't spend any time slacking off...

...they found that this figure increased to 50 minutes. About half that time is spent on eating while the rest is spent on other 'leisure activities' like making the tea. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the authors found that not everyone wasted the same proportion of the work day and explained that the more someone worked the greater the amount of time spent dossing. 

Obviously the fact that the study is based on a self reporting survey means that there are some limitations to the findings but we'd reckon 50 minutes could be reasonably accurate (though not in this office, we don't waste any time dossing). 

Overall though we think things should be taken into perspective. There's plenty of research out there to suggest that taking regular breaks is a good thing and can focus the mind more when actual work needs to be done. 

Via New York Magazine