Making everyone 5% more productive at work – one simple trick

Want to know how to save everyone 5% of their working day? There is one very simple solution.

Lost time is never found again
— Benjamin Franklin
The greatest gift you can give someone is time
— Anon
My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time
— Steve Jobs

It is widely understood that time is the most import resource we all have. Some of us have more of it left than others, but we all have it and none of us have any to waste.

That’s why the biggest companies in the world have focussed on giving you more of it. Google saves you time by indexing the internet in one place. Apple’s new Watch saves you time by sending a notification to your wrist instead of into your pocket. And Uber saves you time by arranging your transport.

Depending on where you work, you could be losing 20 minutes of your day, every day. We want to share with you an insight to save it.

Why are people important?

One of the biggest costs a company faces is staffing. According to the World Green Building Council, 90% of a typical firm’s operating costs is spent on staff costs.

biggest business costs

That means any staff productivity saving is felt hugely on your company’s bottom line. If you work for a company on a salary heavily influenced by performance, then it is being felt in your pocket too.

Saving the people within an office time increases productivity and makes you money.

So where does this magic 5% come from?

A recent report found that a staggeringly 1 in 2 people have a daily habit which they spend 20 minutes doing. You may be one of these people.

Let’s break that down. Say the average worker is on a 9am – 5pm schedule. They have a 30 minute lunch break, and for ease let’s ignore mid-morning or afternoon breaks and bathroom trips. That means they are working for 7 hours 30 minutes a day.

A 20 minute habit would therefore account for two forty-fifths (2/45) of their day, which is pretty much 5%. That is 5% of a person’s day gone on a habit they can’t kick.

Now, let’s break that down into financial numbers. The average UK worker is paid £26,500 before tax. That means you would take home around £21,000 but your employer or company would really be paying you £29,000.

For you, that means 5% of your salaried time is being spent on this habit. That equals £1,050.

For your employer, 5% of your time not spent working equals £1,450.

That is a series cost to a business. If there are 10 of you in the office, that is £14,500 in lost salary time.

So what is this 20 minute habit?

What I’m telling you about is the habitual need throughout the day for us to snack.

It’s so habitual that 1 in 2 people have been recorded as going on this snack hunt and, as I’ve already told you, each time it takes 20 minutes on average. Don’t believe me? Just look around the office and see for yourself.


If you’re a snacker then that is 5% of your day.

20 minutes of time lost.

£1,450 in salary time lost.

Just to get a mid-afternoon snack.

What a waste of time for you, and money for your employer.


We aren’t suggesting that you shouldn’t have a break, far from it. Breaks are important and a necessity to working efficiently. It’s why we had break-times at school and governments around the world impose weekends.

But why is it that Google, Apple and Uber, the biggest companies at saving you time, provide free food to all their staff?

staff wellbeing week

It is because they want to save their staff time – it’s the most precious resource those firms have.

snacks at work

That’s why we provide fresh fruit and office snacks to companies. To enable them to save their staff time. 

(And that's not to mention the serendipitous interactions a company gains between staff by having people share time together.)

We also do things with the best suppliers too. So not only do you make a productivity saving for 90% of your operating costs, but also on your 1% energy costs. There is no electricity being guzzled akin to a metallic vending machine after all. Plus there is no servicing or other costs which are typically associated with your business rates. We save firms across all areas of their business cost structure.

It’s why companies like Deloitte, Karen Millen and MarketInvoice trust us. Because they know the most important thing to them is their staff’s time.

So if you want your company to save you time whilst saving itself money, give your office manager, boss or CEO a nudge and get them to talk to us. Let’s save time together.

If you have any other ideas of how to save time at work, we'd love to hear from you. Please share below.

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