Let’s be honest-we are all guilty of procrastination. There is a clear line between normal everyday procrastination and those that threaten workplace productivity all together. See how human nature and technology can negatively impact the workplace.

Friction between Employees


Procrastination and conflicting work flows have been cited as a source of frustration and friction among employees. Dr. Yseult Freeney, director of Organisational Psychology at Dublin City University, conducts team building exercises for companies and studies how damaging procrastination can be to employee relations. Freeney affirms that it is difficult for employees who value timeliness and discipline with their work find it hard to get along with co-workers that are the opposite, causing heightened tensions.

Procrastination is an Invisible, yet Expensive Cost

Cell Phone

According to a study, the average worker admits that they waste two hours a day on non-workplace related activities. The average salary of an employee is $39,795, meaning that wasted time and procrastination costs employers $10,396 for each employee per year. Businesses operating in today’s economic climate must be aware of this and its effect on their bottom line.

The Numbers are Staggering-Procrastination & Distractions


A study by The Ernst & Young Australian Productivity Pulse finds that many employees are dedicated to their work and recognize they are procrastinating, however, the overwhelming feeling of stress, overload, and distractions prevent them from improving productivity. This study illustrates that only 50 percent of people can overcome distractions and continue doing their work.

55 percent of people also report that they are frequently distracted at work and 34 percent of employees say they spend one-quarter or more of the workday accomplishing things that they are not supposed to be doing. Between procrastination and distractions, employees are not always able to be as productive as they would like to be. Employees are feeling more overwhelmed than ever with longer working hours and higher expectations from employers to work faster and smarter. Employers should seriously consider implementing a plan to reduce overwhelming employees, which may reduce the need to procrastinate. Procrastinate, by definition, refers to delaying or postponing action to something one wants to avoid – maybe employers should consider what makes employees procrastinate at their organization.

Procrastination & Technology

Social Media

Technology is surrounding us constantly, whether in or out of the office, this can cause a major distraction. People are more likely to procrastinate thanks to Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Procrastination & technology go hand in hand in disrupting the workplace. An article in the Wall Street Journal affirms that distractions in digital forms can disrupt employees for 23 minutes until they return to the original task at hand.

Email has also proven to be a major workplace distraction, with company internal emails distracting employees throughout the day. Companies, like Atos, a global IT firm in France, have decided to limit this distraction in order to maintain productivity. The company discovered that employees spent two hours a day managing their company email accounts and decided to implement a program called the “Zero Initiative” which provides an internal social network to communicate with co-workers, with the ability to only email outside clients.

Can you think of another way that procrastination negatively affects the workplace? If so, share your thoughts on our Facebook page.