Australian workers waste one third of their time at work, costing their employees an estimated loss of about $109 billion according to Ernst & Young’s Productivity Pulse survey.


According to the survey, which canvassed almost 2,500 employees, only fifty-eight per cent of the working day contributes any “real value” to their employer.


24 per cent of the day is spent on networking, personal development and other ‘organisational curricular activities’ that are important to both employer and employee.


However, the survey concluded that 18 per cent of the day is spent on work that wastes time and effort.


"Workers that feel insecure about their roles or are unsatisfied with their workplace have fallen further down the productivity scale as a result of the current slowdown," Ernst and Young Oceania Advisory leader Neil Plumridge said.


However, the dichotomy between the productive and the feckless goes beyond the workplace, with members of the more efficient worker group taking, on average, 43 minutes less time in getting to work.


"This means that the top group has more opportunity for their personal life and activities such as helping kids with their homework, going to the gym, or even cooking the evening meal," Mr Plumridge said.


The survey found that people management issues were the biggest single impact (54 per cent) on productivity, while organisational structure accounted for 23 per cent of the lost productivity. Innovation was identified as a factor, accounting for 15 per cent of the lost productivity.