Survey says even best workers spend 10 per cent of the day slacking.

Do you spend your work days aimlessly drifting between the water cooler, bathroom, Facebook and job websites?

If so, you're one of New Zealand's "lost souls", the people identified in a workplace productivity survey as our biggest time-wasters - losing 21 per cent of the day.

Or you might be a "super achiever", still wasting about 10 per cent daily, but the apple of the boss' eye.

The Ernst & Young Productivity Pulse categorises the Kiwi workforce into four groups. Slightly less productive than the super achiever, wasting 13 per cent of their day, were the "solid contributors", the biggest chunk of the workforce.


The most worrying group, the survey said, were the "patchy participants". The "patchies" - nearly a fifth of the workforce - were the least satisfied and least motivated. They're not as disengaged as lost souls, but were less likely to be looking for an alternative job.

The survey also broke down how we waste time. Computer issues account for an average seven minutes each day. But waiting for other people, travelling between worksites, and sending emails were all bigger time-wasters.

"Increasing productivity and cutting costs are not the same thing," said Ernst & Young partner in charge of the survey, Braden Dickson. "Often we find people are very busy, they're flat out. We're increasing overtime, we're bringing in extra workers but the output isn't there."

The most productive industry is healthcare and social assistance, followed by professional, scientific and technical services. Manufacturing, trade, finance and insurance services round out the top five.

Dickson said the country needed more good supervisors to ensure tasks were well allocated.