Before it was just called “goofing off,” but now there’s a technical term for it.
It turns out that the average employee spends 60-80% of their time on the Internet “cyberloafing,” the act of engaging in online tasks that have nothing at all to do with their jobs. This includes social networking on sites like Facebook or Twitter, but also simple tasks like managing finances or shopping online.
These results come from a study done by Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of Accounting at Kansas State University, and John Pearson, an associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University.
“Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook,” Ugrin told Newswise. “We found that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior. Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care.”
Time for website blocks?
This study suggests that now more than ever workers have the potential to be serious productivity drains – especially if a majority of their work is done on a computer that’s connected to the Internet.
You may want to have IT look into implementing blocks on certain websites that aren’t necessary to the work at hand. As far as social networks go, these are the big time-killers:
- Pinterest, and
However, your more tech-savvy employees may not need to access the actual websites to get their fix. There are applications like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to access your social networks directly from your desktop screen.
The fix for this is to have IT ensure that no employees can download any software that isn’t pre-approved from IT.
Do you suspect your employees are wasting time on the internet? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below.