Too many emails, poor communications and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters for workers around the world, causing them to waste an average one third of their working week.
An online Microsoft Office survey published today suggests that employees desire a better work/life balance as they are putting in longer hours than ever before.
The Microsoft Office Personal Productivity Challenge, which drew responses from more than 38,000 people in 200 countries, rated workers' individual productivity. Participants revealed that, although people work an average of 45 hours a week, they consider about 17 of those hours to be 'unproductive'.
Respondents indicated that a major problem is that they are drowning in email, having to deal with an average of 42 messages a day.
More than half the participants said that they relate their productivity directly to their software. Just under two thirds of respondents said that they do not use scheduling software tools and techniques to help them gain more free time and balance their lives.
On average workers spend 5.6 hours each week in meetings, but 69 per cent of respondents said that these meetings are not productive.
A similar percentage said that they do not have a productive work/life balance, and being unproductive contributes to this feeling.
Dr Larry Baker, president of the Dr Larry Baker Management Center, and an associate professor at Shorter College, Georgia, developed the survey questions.
"In my three decades of studying what makes workers productive, I've found the most crucial skills are the ability to efficiently communicate across all kinds of boundaries, share important documents and manage the increasing volumes of information," he said.
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting
Alterations in capillary blood flow can be caused by body position change
Curiosity rover is in 'normal mode' but not transmitting scientific data back to base
NatWest outage comes a day after Barclays' IT systems shut out customers and staff