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Press Release
For immediate release

- £4.2 billion a year cost to employers as office workers develop their homes from their desks -

Research out today reveals that 5.6 million office workers are ignoring their spreadsheets, pie charts and reports in favour of logging on and planning their home improvements.

Over half of workers (52 per cent) admit they secretly design their home improvements from their desk, spending one hour and 18 minutes a week – nearly 16 minutes a day – searching the internet for ways to add value to their properties. Cumulatively, that adds up to eight and a half working days every year where they neglect their day job in favour of developing their properties. That costs their employer over £750 a year in lost time (per employee) and costs the UK economy a staggering £4.2 billion a year.

Rated Tradesmen, the UK’s number one on-line service that matches work with local tradesmen who are rated by their customers, questioned over 1,600 office workers to find out about their home improvement habits.

Nearly two thirds of the office workers questioned (65 per cent) say they regularly dream of swapping their computers for the hard hat of the building site and a career as a property developer. And it's catching: 3 per cent of those surveyed said their boss had asked them to help get quotes for their own home improvements.

Andrew Skipwith, founder of Rated Tradesmen, comments:

“Readily accessible internet at work means more and more office workers are moonlighting as property developers. Fixing, redecorating and creating your own ‘grand design’ is often highly rewarding, but much of it can be time consuming and tedious. Rated Tradesmen helps save time and effort in the search for a decent tradesman. Our customers submit their job details, then sit back and relax whilst we do the legwork. Tradesmen that would like to quote get in touch - and ratings from past customers are there to see.”

London has the most avid 'desk architects' with these workers spending 98 minutes a week designing their homes from their desks. In joint second place in the desk architect’s league are workers from the South East and West Midlands – who spend 86 minutes a week. The Scots are the most well behaved spending only 60 minutes a week online improving their homes. Women spend more time designing their homes from their desks – 83 minutes a week compared to men’s 73 minutes.

- Ends -

For more information please contact the Rated Tradesmen press office at:

Mischief on 020 7553 4111 or email

Notes to Editors:

• Rated Tradesmen ( is the UK’s most popular web community bringing together customers and highly skilled tradespeople (according to latest Alexa Rankings – May 2007).

• Once registered on the site, tradesmen receive details of customer-submitted jobs that match their work interests and local area. After quoting for and completing a job, the customer then rates the tradesman on quality, value and reliability for other homeowners to see.

• Tradespeople interested in joining the online community and customers seeking more information should contact Rated Tradesmen by calling 0870 220 8810 or visiting the website

Results at a Glance:

• According to latest Office of National Statistics figures there are 10.8 million office workers. 52 per cent (5.6 million) say they secretly design their homes from their desks.

• Of those office workers who admitted they use work-time to search the internet for ways to improve their homes the average time spent was 78 minutes a week – an average of 8.5 working days a year (based on an 8 hour day).

• Employers lose £752 a year per employee spending time searching for home improvements rather than working – based on the average office worker hourly wage of £11.12 (ONS). This equates to a cumulative £4.2 billion lost in a year (yearly loss x number of workers who use office time to home improve).

Regional results:

Amount of time 'desk architects' spend on designing their homes every week whilst at work:

1. London – 98 mins
2. South East – 86 mins
3. West Midlands – 86 mins
4. East – 83 mins
5. Midlands – 81 mins
6. South West – 80 mins
7. North East – 77 mins
8. Yorkshire – 75 mins
9. Welsh – 71 mins
10. North West – 66 mins
11. Scottish – 60 mins

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Mischief PR in the following categories: Men's Interest, Leisure & Hobbies, Home & Garden, Women's Interest & Beauty, Construction & Property, for more information visit