Most companies use some kind of computer application, even if it’s just a word processor. Some companies, however, utilize enterprise-level software solutions to integrate all the functions of their business. This dependence on technology often requires employees of an organization to use a computer to properly accomplish the tasks their superiors within that organization have set out for them.
In this era of constant connectivity, employees have a higher degree of access to the Internet at work, even if they don’t have a workstation. Nowadays, many people have their own mobile devices that are perfectly capable of distracting them from the tasks they are expected to complete. Having unlimited access to the Internet often results in a phenomenon that is known as cyberloafing. Cyberloafing (or cyberslacking) is the act of using work time and resources to surf the web for recreation or personal use.
Traditionally, web surfing has been considered a problem in the workplace as there were studies from almost a decade ago stating that hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost in productivity from this phenomenon. If you consider the situation from the perspective of a business owner, it wouldn’t take you long to consider this lost time damaging. How can it not be? You’re paying an individual to work, not surf the Internet with impunity. That’s why they call it work; you’re expected to be working, not posting statuses to Facebook or Twitter, not shopping online, and not having personal conversations via an instant messaging application.
Cyberloafing completely works against the old business mantra that “time is money”. A converse view, however, suggests that allowing your employees the freedom to surf the web at their discretion actually keeps their productivity at a high level. Don J.Q. Chen, a researcher for the National University of Singapore, and his colleagues have found that allowing employees freedom to occasionally cyberloaf not only gives that employee a respite from the often mind-numbing and repetitive work he or she is being asked to do, it goes a long way toward building trust with that employee. His findings revealed that when a worker feels like they are constantly being put under a microscope it makes them uneasy and distracted, which results in that employee’s hindered productivity.
That’s not to say there aren’t some drawbacks to letting your employees surf the web at will. Some workers will take advantage of their employer’s generosity which can result in deadlines not being met, substandard quality of work, and ultimately, lost revenue. Concocting a comprehensive program that succinctly explains what the limitations are is a necessary step, but it can only go so far.
At Think Tank NTG, we can offer your enterprise content filtering solutions as a part of our affordable managed services package. Content filtering can limit employee access to internet-based content that can be misused by your employees and hazardous to your company’s bottom line. An intelligent filtering system can also detect inappropriate content, so you don’t have to take the time to manually enter a list of taboo websites. Since the economic downturn, companies are asking fewer people to do more and this service can be indispensable for keeping your employees on task. Call 800-501-DATA for more information about how Think Tank NTG help your with all your IT-related needs.