The average American spends a lot of time at the office. According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans spend 8.7 hours at work on an average work day. Each year, Americans work roughly 1,790 hours, which is just slightly higher than the OECD average.
But what happens during the 9 hours that are spent at the office? While every job includes some tasks that are not part of the job description, there's a discrepancy between a job titles and what workers spend their time doing at the office. How much time is spent at meetings or writing emails, and how much time is spent doing what workers perceive to be our main jobs?
A new survey from AtTask conducted by Harris Poll found that U.S. employees at large-sized companies (1000 employees or more) only spend 45 percent of their time on primary job duties. So what about the other 55 percent of the time? Their respondents reported spending 14 percent of their workweek on email (which is believable, as 91 percent reported that they use email to communicate with their team). The other 40 percent of their working hours were spent on meetings, administrative tasks, and "interruptions." So the most frustrating workdays are when all of the above prevent a worker from doing their jobs—and nothing gets done.