The study by office experts, LondonOffices.com, quizzed more than 500 workers, all of whom worked 9am – 5:30pm jobs, to find out what times they mentally clocked on and off at work.
Researchers found nearly three quarters of an hour was lost in the morning, with 9:43am coming out as the average time office workers confessed to buckling down to work.
More than half an hour was wasted in the afternoon with the average respondent claiming to ‘switch-off’ at 4:52pm.
Many respondents cited that they filled this time with mundane activates such as chatting to colleagues, organising papers and even eating breakfast at their desk.
However, some claimed that their hectic family life meant the boundaries between their job and home were becoming increasingly blurred at the start and end of each day.
In fact the study found that 74% of office workers started planning their evening activities after 3pm.
Added together this represents an average loss to employers of one hour and 21 minutes of productivity each day per employee.
In a 50-person office this represents a loss of 67.5 working hours each day and 337.5 hours, each week – the same as one worker being absent for a fortnight.
One worker said: “Mornings are such a rush for me. Not only do I have to get myself ready but also I’ve got to get the kids dressed and ready for school.
“Often I don’t get time to eat, so I always keep some porridge at work just in case. By the time I’ve cooked and eaten that it’s getting on for 9:30am.
“Come 5pm I’m starting to think about what to cook for dinner and about any clubs I’ve got to ferry the children between, so it’s no surprise I don’t do a full day’s worth of work.”
One football fan said: “Often there is lots of important sports gossip to get through in the mornings especially if there has been a good game the night before.
“It’s understandable that productivity dips towards the end of the day, everyone is tired and sometimes you just can’t help the temptation to organise your inbox or tidy your desk.”
A spokesperson for LondonOffices.com commented: “If people are contracted to work between the hours of 9am and 5:30pm then they should be productive for the entirety of that time.
“It is really no excuse that the responsibilities you have outside of work make you less productive.
“When employers discover just how many man-hours are being lost due to workers clipping off the top and tail of their day then they will be bound to act.”