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Secret life of the average worker revealed

Have you ever wondered how much of your time in the office is spent on the phone, reading emails, drinking tea and looking for missing stationery? 

A new study from Avery UK has lifted the lid on office life, revealing that the average office worker will drink 24,684 cups of tea, fall out with colleagues 479 times and send 400,816 emails during their working lifetime. The research was commissioned in line with the launch of a new online guide to getting organised from Avery UK, available at Did you know the average office worker will spend 13 minutes and 13 seconds each day searching for missing paperwork and stationery? That’s despite one in five decluttering their desks on a weekly basis.  Marketing Director for Avery UK, Fiona Mills commented on the findings: 

“It’s fascinating to see just how much people experience throughout their careers. It may be quite an eye opener for office workers as they may not realise quite how much time they’ll spend doing individual tasks or the number of times they’ll do them. In particular, it’s staggering to see how much time is lost to simple things like being disorganised and not knowing where essential items are. This is why we have launched an online guide to getting organised at home and in the office, with tips and ideas for each room. is packed with advice, inspiration and product suggestions to inspire the nation to banish clutter and get their space in order.” 

In addition to sending 33 emails every day, the typical office worker will receive 44 emails a day – or 537,860 throughout the course of their entire career. The typical daily commute is 29 minutes long and UK workers are late to work about twice a month on average. Bad traffic is the number one reason respondents don’t make it in on time, followed by poor timekeeping and oversleeping, suggesting some of the nation’s office workers need to be better organised both at home and at work. 

Office workers will get through 196 notepads and run 282 pens dry throughout their working careers. Paperwork piling up is a problem for UK offices too, with the average worker printing-off 343,504 pages of documents over their lifetime in the office. The biggest cause of conflict at work is the temperature of the building, followed by people pretending to busy when they’re not. Other factors including messy desks and colleagues not returning stationery were cited by respondents too. The boss is the third biggest reason for conflict – in fact, the average worker will have 891 showdowns with their superior throughout their professional life. 

It seems a little organisation could go a long way towards making office life easier, of those polled, 85 percent agreed that having a clear filling system and knowing where everything is makes their job less stressful. Avery’s Fiona Mills commented: “It’s clear from this study that little things like clutter, missing stationery and piles of paperwork can really have a negative impact on life in the office. Something that starts off as a small issue can quickly leave office workers overwhelmed. 

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