20pc of people's time on the job is drained by bad management, says survey Hong Kong people work an average 51 hours a week but say bad management and communications mean they waste 20 per cent of their time, a poll has found. Asked to say which of 36 problems caused them to waste time at work, the 505 respondents to a January City University management department survey said their top 10 gripes were: Communication problems between departments; Communication problems between superiors and subordinates; Frequent changes of policy; Out-of-date equipment; Bosses' perfectionism; Excessive paperwork; Superiors not listening to subordinates' views; The need to keep exploring alternatives; The lack of clear goals; and Long meetings. Those polled - who were mainly from the services and manufacturing sectors - said they worked an average of five hours overtime a week, but 12.4 per cent said they did twice as much as that; 11.6 per cent of the respondents worked more than 60 hours a week. By way of comparison, the average working week in 17 European countries is between 39 and 43 hours. Presenting the survey's findings yesterday, the department's head, Leung Kwok, said the survey showed that the more hours employees worked and the more overtime they did, the more time they said was wasted. Those who did unpaid overtime were more likely than others to say their time was wasted. Research assistant Alice Hon Hiu-ying said employers should consider if they really needed their staff to work such long hours. Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan, of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said the government should outlaw unpaid overtime. 'The problem now is that many employers do not give overtime payments; while sacking people and giving more work to their remaining staff. Legislation would serve as a disincentive for employers to request staff to extend their working hours indefinitely.' The confederation's vice-chairman, Terry Ip Ngok-fung, added: 'Some employees dare not leave punctually or after finishing their work because they are worried their boss would think they are lazy and put them at the top of the list for the next round of dismissals.' Mr Ip said long working hours were unhealthy and bad for productivity. Long work days left staff with less family time and made them prone to developing illness. Professor Leung said an employee's gender, educational level and seniority did not alter significantly the amount of time they said they wasted on the job.