March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The rat race, the daily grind, the "real world," as college students refer to it - CareerBuilder takes a look at an average American work day, by the numbers. The study of more than 3,900 U.S. workers was conducted online by Harris Interactive
November 1 to November 30, 2012.
Get Up and GoIt may be the most important meal of the day, but almost a quarter of workers skip breakfast on a regular basis. Among those who do squeeze in a quick meal before hitting the road, cereal, fruit, eggs or oatmeal are the top breakfast choices.
- Cereal: 31 percent
- Fruit: 19 percent
- Eggs: 19 percent
- Oatmeal: 18 percent
- Toast: 16 percent
- Bagel: 13 percent
- Doughnut: 6 percent
- I don't eat breakfast: 23 percent
After fueling up on breakfast, a vast majority of workers take their car to work.
- Car: 83 percent
- Train: 5 percent
- Bus: 3 percent
- Walk: 3 percent
- Bike: 1 percent
While very few workers turn their commute into a workout, about half take the stairs once they get to the office, with 51 percent climbing at least one flight of stairs to their office, and 14 percent climbing 5 floors or more. Flights climbed in a typical workday:
- None: 49 percent
- 1 flight: 14 percent
- 2 flights: 12 percent
- 3 flights: 6 percent
- 4 flights: 5 percent
- 5 or more flights: 14 percent
Dress codes have relaxed over the years. Employers were most likely to report having a business casual environment, while a third of offices allow employees to sport jeans.
- Business casual: 43 percent
- Jeans: 33 percent
- Uniform: 21 percent
- Business suit: 4 percent
Hair styles have seen different trends over the years, but in most offices it's business as usual. A middle part is the most popular style, driven largely by younger workers. Forty-four percent of workers ages 18-24 part their hair in the middle, compared to only 23 percent of workers age 55 and older. Overall, 34 percent of workers prefer a middle part in their hair.
- Left: 30 percent
- Right: 23 percent
- Middle: 34 percent
- Bald: 14 percent
The majority of people are frequently away from their desks; 40 percent of workers say they get up from their desks 10 or more times in a typical work day. However, men are less likely to get up from their desk during the day than women, with 20 percent of men saying they leave their desks one time or less in a workday, compared to 12 percent of women.
- 0 times- 15 percent
- 1 time- 2 percent
- 2 times- 4 percent
- 3 times- 7 percent
- 4 times- 8 percent
- 5-9 times- 24 percent
- 10 or more times- 40 percent
Similarly, 39 percent of workers say they eat lunch at their desk every day of the week.
- Every day: 39 percent
- 3-4 times a week: 18 percent
- 1-2 times a week: 43 percent
The Internet and smartphones have made it easier than ever for employees to get distracted from their work. But just how much time do they feel they spend actually working on a daily basis?
- 8 hours: 38 percent
- 7 hours: 21 percent
- 6 hours: 18 percent
- 5 hours: 11 percent
- 4 hours or less: 12 percent
The most common distraction from work is non-work related chats with coworkers, followed by Internet searches and loud co-workers.
- Chatting with co-workers about non-work related stuff: 34 percent
- Internet searches: 22 percent
- Loud co-workers: 18 percent
- Personal calls or emails: 17 percent
- Office drama: 15 percent
- Daydreaming: 11 percent
- Gossip: 7 percent
- Watching TV in the break room: 2 percent
- Not understanding how to do the work: 4 percent
To drown out workplace distractions, one-in-five workers listen to music with headphones. Workers ages 18 to 24 are four times as likely to do so as those ages 55 and older. The number of workers who reported listening to music with headphones at the office are:
The "Social" Worker
- All workers: 21 percent
- Workers age 18-24: 40 percent
- Workers age 55+: 10 percent
Inevitably when people spend as much time together as coworkers do, friendships and sometimes even romances can form.
- Number of workers who have dated a co-worker – 38 percent
Among those workers who dated a co-worker, 12 percent said their romances began at a happy hour after work. While 60 percent of workers reported that they don't attend work happy hours, those who do are most likely to cite beer or water as their beverage of choice.
- Beer: 35 percent
- Water: 31 percent
- Soda: 29 percent
- Mixed drink: 25 percent
- Wine: 13 percent
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive
on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,991 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government)
between November 1 and November 30, 2012
(percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,991, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.55 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.