Study: U.S. workers are highly motivated—yet fully disengaged at times

New research reveals that even exemplary employees admit to spacing out for more than an hour per workday.

U.S. workers are motivated but disengeged

U.S. workers tend to be driven, dogged and motivated on the job—except when they’re not.

That’s the confused conclusion of a survey commissioned by RingCentral Glip, which asked 1,000 U.S. employees about their workplace habits, attitudes and productivity.

First, the good news. Ninety-three percent of respondents say they “feel driven and motivated at work,” and 88 percent report being “committed to doing their best.”

However, almost all the workers surveyed admit to mentally “checking out” for at least an hour every workday. (In addition to lunch and other breaks.) All that mindless midday scrolling, video viewing, social media snapping and fantasy football tinkering add up.

Spacing out for 60 minutes a day translates to about six weeks’ worth of lost productivity per year. (The popular Pomodoro technique, which suggests resting the brain about 10 minutes per hour to recharge it, works out to about the same amount of downtime.)

It’s not just the thumb-twiddling junior staffers who spend a good chunk of the day staring into the void, either. Twenty-two percent of executives say they “disengage” for more than an hour per day, and 34 percent of directors admit doing the same. However, younger workers are more prone to daydreaming on the job. According to the survey:

Generation Z and Millennials are nearly twice as likely as their Generation X and Boomer counterparts to disengage at work for an hour or more.

What can employers do to boost productivity and engagement? RingCentral Glip recommends creating an environment that:

Of course, that’s easier said than done—but it all starts with consistent, thoughtful, strategic and empathetic communication. Click here for more on RingCentral’s findings.

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