Faffing around - the British way of life

Britons be proud! We may not be so good at pointless tasks like propelling inflated balls into wood-framed nets and the like, but when shoved in front of the magic glowy-box-with-keyboard, we know how to make "best use" of the time that the evil machinations of capitalist slavery force us to sit at our office desk. According to a survey done by Tickbox, and interpreted in an article by The Register, the British lead the world in the sheer amount of faffing around on the Internet when they are being paid to do…well…whatever it is you're supposed to do in an office.

Timid or inexperienced office workers can now be guilt free. Using the new vernacular "desk skiving", apparently more than a third of us do our personal web surfing, emailing or texting at work to the extent of essentially gaining an extra 7 to 14 days of free holidays.

Feeling like you're not doing your part? Check this approximate list out of favoured work-illicit activities in descending order of popularity.

  • Reading news
  • "Personal research" on search engines
  • Texting
  • Online shopping
  • Looking for another job
  • Playing online or offline (think Solitaire) games
  • Online auctions (offices that don't ban eBay are surely asking for it)

Plus a substantial minority (14%) go on instant messaging chat programs which are not known to aid work productivity, in this universe anyway.

Activities less favoured (we can't imagine why) include porn, dating (some people may debate whether that is actually much different than porn in its online incarnation), gambling, group chats and the ethereal "blogging". Congratulations must however be given to the to the less-than-5% of employees who do wangle getting paid for succumbing to these vices in someone else's time. These are most likely part of the same 8% of hardcore bad-boy employees who get an extra 12 weeks of secret holidays a year via the simple art of the faff.


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