A survey of some 2,000 employees conducted by technology firm Dropbox showed one in five Brits admitting they never work to the best of their ability in their jobs.
In fact, nearly three quarters of respondents said they do not work their best even once a week, the BBC reported.
Entry-level workers believe that just 68% of their colleagues are good at their jobs. The perception is worse among managers and board-level workers, who believe only 58% of their colleagues perform well at work.
“Fundamentally, people have a natural inclination towards laziness,” said Brennan Jacoby, a philosopher at cultural institution The School of Life, who conducted the survey with Dropbox.
“Often it’s not a lack of motivation causing [the laziness], more often it can be a lack of clarity,” Jacoby said.
“Without clear roles and objectives we are drawn towards loafing and free riding.”
The survey results emerge amid sluggish forecasts for economic productivity in the next five years. Low productivity has been blamed for holding back the UK economy.
The Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), said productivity has grown by just 0.2% a year for the past five years, a number far lower than expected, and warned that the weak growth would persist over the next five years.
Other findings include:
- Workers in public relations and information have the lowest opinion of their peers
- Those in construction and emergency service have the highest opinion of their colleagues.
According to Dropbox, the positive regard for their colleagues’ work habits might be because these are safety-critical jobs that require trust in co-workers for everyone’s safety.
In these roles, too, the benefits of teamwork are more apparent and clearly understood.
Employers, he believes, should give their workers clear roles and responsibilities. “Chances are, productivity and happiness will rise.”