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Two wasted days at work
Survey: pointless meetings and unclear priorities waste a full two days of work per week on average.
March 16, 2005: 3:30 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Nearly two of every five days workers spend on the job is wasted on pointless meetings, bad communication and unclear objectives, according to a Microsoft survey tracking office productivity around the world.

Workers consider 17 hours of the average 45-hour work week to be unproductive, according to the Microsoft (down $0.21 to $24.70, Research) survey, which drew responses from 38,000 participants in 200 countries. The survey was released Wednesday.

The chief culprit among these "productivity pitfalls" was identified as ineffective meetings. Workers spend 5.6 hours a week in meetings, and 69 percent of them are ineffective, according to the survey, in which respondents answered 18 questions about work-related practices.

While 32 percent of respondents blamed ineffective meetings, lack of team communication and unclear objectives as the lead pitfalls, another 31 percent identified unclear priorities as the biggest waste of time. Procrastination garnered 29 percent of the vote.

More than half the respondents, 55 percent, said their software was directly related to their productivity. Workers also said they receive 42 e-mails a day.

Women had an office edge on men, with an average productivity score of 72 percent, compared to 71 percent for men.  Top of page

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