Swedes ‘slack off’ for two hours each work day

New research has found that Swedish workers are spending more and more time each day doing something other than working, from surfing the net, to booking holidays, or chatting to friends online.

Swedes 'slack off' for two hours each work day
Photo: Shutterstock
Working hard or hardly working?
If you thought the Swede sitting across from you in the office was typing so fast because he was an industrious worker, you may be mistaken. 
New research suggests that Swedes are quite likely to be using the office computer for leisure for an average of two hours a day.
"It's quite strange. Especially considering that we're getting in reports about how work is intensifying at most work places and how stressed everyone is," sociologist Roland Paulsen at Lund University told the TT news agency.
"The people I've interviewed spent half their day doing private things. Exactly why they do this can vary, but it's often understood that their work is meaningless or boring. Or they simply don't have enough to do."
His research found that another problem was that bosses just weren't aware of how long jobs should take, due to their own incompetencies, or because they were distracted by other administrative tasks.
Paulsen suggested that while stricter supervision and internet history checks could indeed improve worker performance, he's not convinced it's the cure.
Paulsen has published a book on the topic, "Empty Labor: Idleness and Workplace Resistance", which has already found a keen international audience.

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