Are you slacking off at work? Picture: Pexels
Researchers who polled 2,000 office workers found having a mirror on the side of the computer to see when the boss is coming will be a favourite ruse as employees return to work glum-faced following the festive break.

The study also showed the average worker slacks off for up to 50 minutes a day – or more than four hours a week – usually to carry out personal tasks.

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of international animal charity SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, says: “returning to work after the holiday season can come as a shock to the system – and no doubt some workers will be easing themselves back in slowly this week."

“...It’s clear from these findings that office workers are finding creative ways of putting their feet up for a break.''

Other bizarre ways workers avoid knuckling down include disappearing for little walks, disabling sleep-mode on the PC and writing personal emails in Microsoft Word.

Constantly writing things on Post-It notes to give the illusion of a ‘busy desk’, inventing emergencies to attend to and walking around the office with a sense of urgency also feature in the list.

It also emerged the workforce will make fake phones calls, browse social media and staring at the computer screen with a look of concentration, while daydreaming in a bid to look busy.

The study also found four in 10 workers slack off to get personal tasks completed without anyone knowing, while 34 percent claimed to be bored by their current role.

One fifth of those polled admitted they lack energy after a busy morning and so are most likely to slack off in the afternoon.

Around 42 percent often duck responsibilities because their job is "easy". 

Another 41 percent grumbled they used to be the model employee, but boredom or resentment has turned them into a slacker.

While 26 percent admitted their tendency to slack off is holding them back from progressing in their career.

Unfortunately, one in 10 workers haven’t disguised their ‘skiving’ very well, and have been disciplined with either a serious talking to, a written reprimand, a performance improvement plan or by being shouted at in front of colleagues.

  1. Browsing the internet/ social media
  2. Taking compassionate leave for the death of a non-existent granny / granddad
  3. Checking personal emails 
  4. Disappearing for a little walk
  5. Online shopping
  6. Completing life admin at desk (banking, booking tickets, online food shops etc.)
  7. Eating lunch at your desk
  8. Staring at the screen looking concentrated – while daydreaming
  9. Tactical toilet breaks
  10. Reading the same document over and over
  11. Starting kitchen conversations
  12. Quickly switching between tabs and windows
  13. Taking as much time off at lunch as possible
  14.  Arranging to ‘work from home’
  15. Reading a newspaper
  16. Playing online games – disguised as work
  17. Regular smoke breaks
  18. Watching TV on your PC/phone/laptop 
  19. Cluttering your desk to look ‘snowed under’
  20. Having sex in the office (i.e. toilet, stationery cupboard