Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/21/office_efficiency/

Women spending more time at work - but less time working

Numbers don't add up

By Joe Fay

Posted in CIO, 21st September 2009 12:25 GMT

A performance analysis software vendor has risked inflaming the battle of the sexes by declaring that "women work hard, but not quite as hard as men".

OfficeMetrics claimed that its research showed that over the last nine months, UK office workers were tending to spend more time in the office, as they seek to impress their bosses and stave off the threat of redundancy.

The firm claimed that in July this year, UK workers were spending on average 15 minutes longer at their desks than they were nine months ago, but "the amount of time spent on work based activities had reduced by three per cent."

The research apparently showed that women were starting their working day 18 minutes earlier than they had been six months earlier. But women were apparently only 94 per cent as productive as men in July, compared to 87 per cent as productive, back in November.

Jon Mulligan, OfficeMetrics MD, claimed that, “Our research has shown that assessing time in the office to judge employees can be extremely misleading and many of those who seem to be spending longer at work are in fact spending more time on personal browsing and social networking sites." The solution, at least as far as Mulligan is concerned, is to buy his software to keep better tabs on what staff are up to.

He added that it may be women might actually be more productive than men during the time they're actually applying themselves to their jobs. “We mustn’t forget that individuals have varying working styles. Women may be spending less time on work activities but producing better results and therefore managers must take multiple factors in to account when they are assessing employee performance.” ®