How much do Americans work during the week?

Moving away from a traditional office has certainly changed the way many employees approach the workday -- and how many hours they actually do.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor on

Working from home may help some with productivity, but for others, it causes a slew of distractions. But what are your employees really doing during the working day?

Sturtevant, WI-based LED lighting firm e-conolight asked 1,000 Americans what they really do while on the clock.

They wanted to find out about their average workday activities, non-work activities, and time-wasting. The survey showed that most Americans devote much of their time on the clock to the work they're paid to do.

Although three in four Americans spend four hours or more focused on work during the workday, some are less focused. One in five (21.3%) admitted that they spend only 1 to 3 hours focusing on work and 2.5% said that they focused on work for less than an hour.

Two in five respondents reported spending four or more hours away from their computers. Almost one in four (22.9%) spend four to six hours away from their PC and 17.5% spend over seven hours away from their PC.

Around one in five (21.54%) spend less than an hour away from their computers during the working day.

The majority (53%) of people spend at least one hour of the workday scrolling through social media. Almost one in nine (13.9%) millennials say they spend an average of 4 to 6 hours during each workday on social media -- not good if digital media is not their main salaried job.

How much do Americans work during a work week zdnet

An overwhelming 77% say that they shop online while on the clock at least once a week.

Three in five (60%) of respondents say they've taken a nap on the clock at least once. Baby boomers are the least likely generation to snooze on the clock, with only 29% admitting to it.

And while these may seem harmless -- 51% of people have been late to a work meeting because they were occupied with a non-work-related activity.

And almost half of the respondents have worked for another company while on the clock with their employer. This number was also high among male and millennial respondents, at 49% and 48%, respectively.

How much do Americans work during a work week zdnet

Unfortunately, 28% of people say doing non-work activities while clocked in has had a negative impact on their work performance -- not surprising considering the other types of activities they have been doing.

Two in five (44%) have been reprimanded at least once for getting off-task, and 39% of people have been let go from their jobs for doing non-work-related activities.

It is understandable that, during the pandemic, workers are trying to cover their living expenses after a really tough year.

Missing meetings and deadlines are likely to get you fired. But pretending to work when you are actually working for another company is not on.

One day you might get caught for faking it and lose your job. And you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Focus totally on the job you are being paid to do for your allocated hours and strive to be known as the highest performing employee of the month -- instead of being yesterday's news.

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