According to a recent study I made up this morning up to 5% of office productivity is lost to morning greetings. Most office workers feel compelled as they enter the building to greet each person they see with the exact same words they used just 24 hours prior. When hit with the greeting and the rhetorical questions which typically accompany it, most employees, still in a pre-caffeinated stupor, feel compelled to mindlessly answer each question with pre-programmed responses.
“Great, great. Thanks. And you?”
As “And you?” involuntarily slips out of the employee’s mouth it suddenly occurs to them, just as did 24 hours ago, that morning banter has just gone viral. The cheery jerk who started this exchange now gets to answer their own questions and throw in some unsolicited news about their children. By this point someone else is walking through the door, and it would be just plain rude to not greet them and ask them a couple of meaningless questions. And thus it spreads throughout the office devouring the day’s first 5% of potential productivity.
Along with the assignment of a cubical comes an honorary degree in Meteorology. A day of work in the office simply can’t get underway until everyone present (all people who will be spending the next 9 hours indoors) have discussed current weather conditions in the immediate area and offered their professional opinions on meteorological developments to be expected later in the day. During the hurricane season an additional minute or two should be spent reviewing the current state of the named storms.
Up to 6% of productivity is lost daily to meal planning, and an additional 4% on post-lunch weather analysis. 2% of productivity is lost to MS Windows solitaire, down from 15% just a decade ago, except among lawmakers. Updating Twitter and Facebook consumes nearly a quarter of productivity.
All remaining productivity is lost to the Zynga games Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, and Farmville.