In Praise Of Wasting Time: Apparently We Spent Three Hours Every Day Avoiding Work

In Praise Of Wasting Time At Work

wasting time, cara delevingne

by Lucy Vine |
Published on

New stats say we spend three hours every day avoiding work – Grazia’s Lucy Vine says a massive hurrah to that.*

Oh, sorry, were you waiting for this? I was watching a video over and over of Richard Blackwood grating the inside of a lemon{ =nofollow}. And then I had to email quite a lot of people to update them on how many minutes were left of the working day. And then I had to go to the kitchen to pretend to use the microwave so I could listen to some people in the next office talking about a colleague who got drunk and threw up over another colleague. All good, solid, important time wasting.

A new study of British workers by Microsoft 2016 says we’re wasting up to three hours of every working day. And only half of the normal working day is productive anyway. Isn’t that great news? In a world where people are encouraged to work evenings and weekends, where our retirement age is going up and up and kids are now predicted to work until they’re 100, not to mention junior doctors who are forced to do 90 hour weeks to keep Jeremy Hunt happy, I am *delighted *by this news.

We spend too much time working. The average Joe – let’s call him Joe – doing a fulltime job in the UK works a 42-hour week – FYI that’s higher than the rest of Europe. Joe will also spend about an hour commuting every day and Joe will spend two years of his life in meetings. It is too much for poor Joe who has a wife and three kids and a really emotionally needy dog called Nigel. And it’s too much for the rest of us. So YES! to this news, and YES! to time wasting and YES! to taking pictures of your colleagues who are actually doing work and sending it to them on WhatsApp because it’s funny and creepy.

Because what’s the other option? The disturbing policies Sports Direct allegedly employ at their headquarters in Derbyshire? Paramedics have become a regular fixture at the retailer because – reportedly – of excessive pressure on the 3,500 workers. There’s a six strike policy, enforced when someone takes a sick day and also when workers are caught – major uh oh, you guys – ‘chatting’. The BBC’s Inside Out programme this week found that ambulances were called to the premises more than 70 times in the last two years, with 36 of those cases for ‘life-threatening’ conditions. Former workers claim they were ‘too scared’ to call in sick because they thought they’d lose their jobs. If true, it’s a bit horrifying.

Is that really how we want our lives to go? Work work work, death (at our desk). I’d rather embrace some time wasting, because actually I don’t think time wasting is time wasted. It recharges our batteries. It allows us to bond with colleagues, which makes for a happier, more productive office and a happier more productive you. It helps you feel like you haven’t wasted your life over a spreadsheet. So time waste away, and do go watch that Richard Blackwood video again – definitely the best thing to happen in 2015.

*please don’t sack me

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