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The Modern Office Is Casual ... and Noisy

The Modern Office Is Casual ... and Noisy Credit: Multi-cultural image via Shutterstock

From the way they dress to the distractions they face, life for employees around the office is much different than it has ever been, new research shows.

A study by CareerBuilder of the average American workday revealed one area that has changed dramatically in recent years: the employee dress code. While many companies previously required employees to wear formal business suits, today policies are much more relaxed, with 43 percent of workers able to dress in business casual and 33 percent allowed to wear jeans everyday. Overall, just 4 percent of companies today require that their employees show up for work in a business suit.

Inside the office, the days of employees clocking in and sitting at their desk all day are gone. The research revealed that 40 percent of workers get up from their desks at least 10 times in a typical day. Just 15 percent of those surveyed stay glued to their desks all day.

The majority of workers don't spend the full day doing actual work. The study found that just 38 percent of employees actually dedicate their full 8-hour day to working, while 23 percent spend less than 5 hours of their day working.

The research shows the most common distractions from work are chats with co-workers, Internet searches and loud peers. To drown out those disruptions, more and more employees, specifically younger workers, are turning to music. Staff members under the age of 25 are four times as likely to listen to music with headphones while at the office compared to those older than 55.

The study was based on surveys of nearly 4,000 full-time employees.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.