Over half of HR professionals are happy in their jobs despite their biggest bugbear being computers and printers crashing, according to a new study commissioned by Mars Drinks UK.

An unofficial ‘office census’ has created a detailed breakdown of a day in the working life of British office workers, right down to the number of emails they send and receive, how many cups of tea or coffee they drink, and how much they spend on their daily commute.

Researchers for Mars Drinks UK quizzed 2001 male and female office workers across Britain in order to draw up the detailed study, including employees in marketing, finance, creative, HR, legal and IT sectors.

The good news for HR bosses is that almost 60 per cent of HR professionals told researchers they were happy in their job, and only five per cent insisted they hated where they worked.

Jenni Morgan, Trade Marketing Manager for Mars Drinks UK, who commissioned the study, said: “Our office census provides a fascinating detailed insight into the working day of a HR office worker, and it is a welcome relief to learn that the majority of employees are happy in their jobs. Our results also show that we are working longer hours than ever before but this has not dented our enjoyment of the job.”

The daily commute begins at 7.37am, which lasts on average for 30 minutes and 55 seconds. The majority (47.65%) drive to work but a fifth enjoy walking or catching the bus to the office. The first conversation with a colleague happens at 8.17am, just 10 minutes after arriving at work, and the first cup of tea or coffee is consumed some 12 minutes later at 8.29am.

Lunch begins at 12.35pm and lasts for 28 minutes and 59 seconds, but over half (55.03%) eat lunch at their desk, with just nine per cent ever venturing outside to get some fresh air while they digest.

The survey also found that an average employee in the HR profession splashes out £3.50 on their lunch, compared to the average office worker who spends £3.29.

Throughout the day, HR workers receive 35 emails and send 27, make 20 phone calls and answer 25 and drink an average of three cups of tea or coffee.

IT issues are the biggest office irritant, including computers and printers inexplicably crashing, followed by irritating colleagues, and those who gossip when they should be working.

And according to the new research, commissioned by Mars Drinks UK, a fifth of HR workers get most annoyed when the air conditioning is too cold, and one in 10 see red when the office coffee machine is on the blink.

The commute home begins at 5.05pm and takes an average of 33 minutes and 39 seconds and costs £4.08 daily. HR professionals told researchers they had been in their current position for an average of five years and six months, compared to the national average of six years and nine months.

The Average Working Day of a HR Professional
· Commute to office – 30 minutes and 55 seconds
· Arrive at office – 8.07am
· First chat with colleague – 8.17am
· First coffee/tea of the day – 8.29am
· Lunch – 12.35pm
· Lunch break lasts – 28 minutes 59 seconds
· Average cost of lunch – £3.50
· Number of emails received – 35
· Number of emails sent – 27
· Number of phone calls made – 20
· Number of phone calls received – 25
· Number of disagreements with colleagues – 0.93
· Time spent on Facebook/Twitter – 07 minutes 07 seconds
· Time spent online banking and shopping – 09 minutes 16 seconds
· Time spent on personal emails – 06 minutes 40 seconds
· Biggest office bugbear – computers and printers crashing
· Length of time in current job – five years and six months
· Leave the office – 5.05pm
· Commute home – 33 minutes 39 seconds
· Cost of daily commute – £4.08