DEFINITION of 'Goldbricker'

Anything of limited or no worth that is passed off as genuine or valuable. A goldbricker is sometimes used to refer to someone who attempts to avoid work and/or responsibilities - in other words, a "slacker." The term originates from the unscrupulous practice of coating worthless metals with gold. Today, it is most often used to describe employees who use company time to scour the internet or perform other personal tasks.

BREAKING DOWN 'Goldbricker'

Goldbricking is estimated to cost companies billions of dollars a year. A 2007 survey by revealed that about six out of 10 employees in the United States acknowledged wasting time at work.

Internet use was the leading time-wasting activity in the workplace, and 34% of respondents admitted to it. Employees cited boredom, long hours, lack of challenge and inadequate pay as the reasons for why they failed to spend this time working.

The boon of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter has only contributed to employees' habits. According to the BBC, sites like Facebook could be costing U.K. firms more than £130 million a day.

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