Workers spend just 59 per cent of their day actually doing their job – with the rest of their time taken up by ‘unnecessary’ meetings, ‘tedious’ admin, and ‘pointless’ processes.
The study of 2,000 employed adults found they have an average of 11 things on their to-do lists on any given day, but 86 per cent routinely struggle to get things crossed off.
This is thanks to a host of obstacles – including constant emails filling up the inbox (48 per cent) and laborious admin tasks (33 per cent).
While 49 per cent said a ‘significant’ amount of their day is spent updating colleagues on where they are at with particular tasks and projects.
It also emerged, 39 per cent are most productive when working at home compared to 22 per cent who prefer the office.
Brian Green, from Adobe, which commissioned the research, said: “Many of us have more flexibility and freedom to set our own working routine than ever before, yet our utopian ideal of working on our own terms still remains under threat
“This is due to an inability to overcome productivity challenges regardless of where we choose to work.”
The fight for productivity
The study also found unexpected phone calls (43 per cent) and last-minute meetings (34 per cent) contribute to the overall lack of productivity.
While 33 per cent even blamed making tea as a hindrance to their work efficiency.
However, 31 per cent believe a good desk set up and regular breaks is key to productivity.
Wednesday was named the best day for successfully ticking thing off the list while Friday was considered the worst.
It also emerged those who prefer working from home said the top reason for this was not having to commute to and from the office (62 per cent).
Having a quieter environment with less distractions (56 per cent), managing their own schedule (52 per cent) and being in to accept deliveries (48 per cent) were also among the top reasons for home being a more desirable workplace.
The individual working environment
When comparing age groups, the OnePoll study found 18-24-year-olds cited not having to commute as the top reason why working at home was better than the office.
This was closely followed by being able to manage their own schedules, leading to better productivity (54 per cent).
But 55 per cent of those aged 25-34 favour the home environment because it means they can do their housework.
While 58 per cent of 35-44-year-olds prefer working at home as they find it quieter with less distractions.
Brian Green added: “Although digital tools which once rescued us from isolation are still in use, we seem to have forgotten their power in enabling enhanced collaboration.
“From faster feedback and approval cycles to aiding working whilst on the move, we as business owners and leaders need to do more to promote tech that enables productivity in the modern-day workplace.”
Top 10 reasons employees prefer working at home
Save money/time from no commute
The working environment is quieter with less distractions
You can manage your own schedule so you’re more productive
You can accept deliveries and not worry about them being left outside/not delivered
It’s better for your mental health
You’re able to do domestic duties such as housework or washing
Better family and social life e.g., take children to and from school or nursery
You can wake up later
Being able to prep evening meals
There are no colleagues you need to make small talk with