Employee Engagement

Business managers and consultants spend over three and a half hours of their day procrastinating – wasting £28,111 of their employers’ money every year, based on the average business consultant’s salary.

Those often tasked with finding efficiencies are the worst culprits for taking extended lunch breaks, averaging an extra 16 minutes per person every day.

It has also been revealed that managers and consultants spend an average of 15 minutes on tea and coffee breaks, 13 minutes on personal calls and 12 minutes on online shopping every day.

It means the sector is one of the worst for wasting time at work in the UK, ranking behind only the environmental industry, the performing arts and marketing.

A study of employees in 28 different broad fields of work in the UK economy determined how long they each spend on 15 common work-delaying activities daily.

The information was then used to create the Procrastination Calculator, which measures how much of someone’s salary is effectively wasted on menial daily tasks throughout the year and a typical working lifetime.

It revealed that, while the UK’s 33 million workers on average waste almost three hours, costing the economy £1.3 billion a day, business managers and consultants are much more easily distracted.

The 220 minutes that they typically spend on things like cigarette breaks, online shopping and snacking would add up to enough time to attend 3,710 internal meetings a year, or to get a train between Edinburgh and London 206 times.

The average times that each business manager or consultant spends every day on the most time-wasting activities in the sector are:

  • 16 minutes on extended breaks or lunchtimes
  • 15 minutes on tea and coffee breaks
  • 13 minutes making personal calls
  • 12 minutes on online shopping

The Procrastination Calculator allows people to enter their own salary and how long they typically spend on each of the 15 procrastination activities, to find out how much of their boss’s money is spent on them each year. It also makes the time more real by showing the equivalent tasks that could be completed in that time.

To try it out, visit

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