We are all guilty of procrastinating at work on occasion – putting off that phone call for a tea break, or not completing reports because your desk really needed a tidy. Whatever your excuse may be, recent reports show that this behaviour is actually costing British business an incredible £76bn a year!

The report, taken from a YouGov poll of 2,000 Brits, also showed that, on average, workers spend up to 43 minutes per day procrastinating. That’s over three-and-a-half hours a week per employee!

With this in mind, we thought we would highlight the areas that are really reducing our productivity. Are you guilty of these?

1. Making tea

While drinking tea is very much a National pastime, it’s been reported that British workers rack up over 100 hours per year making cups of tea (or coffee). 

Respondents cited the optimum tea break time was 7 minutes, and that they would have, on average, 4 separate breaks per day outside of their lunch breaks – totalling 28 minutes per day!

2. Snacking

Snacking is another prominent way us Brits procrastinate throughout the work day. With a reported 13 minutes spent snacking away from the set lunch time, we are officially eating and drinking the working day away.

Whilst this may be something that’s hard to resist, as snacks have become such a common office perk, with a recent survey from Jobvite finding millennial workers were more likely to get free food at work than they were to receive health care or retirement plans… we still need to consider how much this impacts on our productivity, as well as our waistline!

3. Social media

Another, more recent way, British employees have started to put off work, is social media. Whilst many businesses have limited employees' social media access to break times, or banned the sites altogether, it seems the sneaky British employee amongst us is still accessing their accounts, spending an average of 25 minutes outside break times per day on social media perusal.

Granted, with so many jobs utilising the internet nowadays, it can be a very hard challenge to stay away from social media-related distractions. Instead of sneaky scrolling at work, we could be getting our to do lists done with time to spare!

4. Internet surfing

In a similar vein, it seems those who aren’t or can’t access social media sites are still managing to spend their time browsing the internet for things unrelated to work. It’s been reported that employees spend an average of 33 minutes per day getting distracted by the internet. That’s nearly 3 hours a week!

Out of the 2,500 individuals surveyed by motivational aid website, Webtrate, 62% noticed a reduction in happiness and satisfaction levels when they realised they'd been wasting time browsing on the internet. Next time you're tempted by a quick browse, remember it is making you unhappy and dissatisfied!

5. Tidying

A particularly common way we British procrastinate without feeling too guilty, is by tidying our desks or the office around us. Whilst it is widely recognised that a great way to clear the mind is to clear your working environment, it’s been reported that people are spending an average of 25 minutes tidying per day!

It does beg the question, what happens to your desk when you are not at work? If your desk really does need a tidy, consider doing it at the end of the day, so it is clean and clutter-free for the next morning.