For any business, it is crucial that time is spent effectively in the office for the sake of productivity. This productivity often requires the use of the Internet in order to take place, however, the Internet can also be a source of distractions for the user. As the authority in your business, you have to ask yourself...
Unfortunately, there are many ways that an employee can misuse the Internet, each potentially taking away from their productivity. Studies have indicated that 64 percent of people who use a workstation to complete their work also visit websites that have nothing to do with their work responsibilities. 45 percent identify this tendency as their largest distraction in the workplace.
On a related note, social networking can be a dangerous time-sink for many employees.
A full 77 percent of employees who have a Facebook account use it during work hours, some spending a full two hours per day on the site.
This time on social media sites adds up fast. Let’s say that a business has 20 employees. If 77 percent of them are using Facebook during the workday, that means that 15 of them are scrolling through their Timelines while they should be working. Even assuming that each of them is spending less than two hours on Facebook - let’s say half an hour - that still means that almost eight hours a day is being sunk into non-business-related computing. That’s basically like hiring someone to skim their own Facebook account every day - and again, that’s just the time wasted on Facebook alone.
If you consider how many other distractions there are on the Internet, that’s a lot of time being wasted. Your employees could be watching YouTube videos, mindlessly surfing the web, or shopping on work time. It was even found that 48 percent of employees said they spent time at work looking for new jobs online. Obviously, if someone is doing that, they aren’t going to be getting much work done, are they?
It’s in your business’ best interest to prevent your employees from surfing the web at work.
In addition to the amount of time wasted ‘liking’ statuses, watching videos, and (for those who remember Facebook’s earlier days) ‘poking’ friends, there are other serious possible ramifications of employees wasting time on the Internet, many of which could place the security of your network at risk.
For instance, accessing the wrong website (or even a personal email account) could potentially lead to a malware infection on the offending workstation, or worse, the entire network. While we don’t mean to imply that your employees are involved in any kind of illegal online activity on your network, if they were, your business would be the one held accountable.
You do have a few options to help keep your employees on task.
The simplest means of reducing your internal misuse of the Internet is to create a workplace environment that focuses more on their work. Yes, this may sound obvious, but it isn’t always as simple as one might expect. In order to really encourage a productive work ethic and productive habits, you’ll have to start from the very beginning. Incorporating a focus on productivity in employee training will help to keep your employees engaged in their work long after their training ends.
Keeping tasks clearly outlined will also help, as employees won’t get hung up on what they’re supposed to do next, giving them the opportunity to become distracted. It also doesn’t hurt that demonstrating these habits yourself will help to encourage them among your workforce.
While nobody can indefinitely maintain 100 percent productivity, you need to be able to gauge how much time is being wasted during the workday. For instance, if tasks are repeatedly taking far longer than they should be, that is a clear sign of some problem, possibly in the employee’s work ethic. Other signs of less-than-optimal productivity include an excess of socializing in the workplace, as well as off-topic web browsing, as we discussed before. One key to solving a time-sink problem is to recognize the root cause.
You also have the option to incorporate a content filtering solution into your IT infrastructure.
Let’s face it… there are some tasks that constitute wasted time for some employees, while others may need to complete them in order to actually accomplish their work responsibilities. Social media is a prime example… administration and any marketing resources will need to access these sites, while it is far less likely that another staff member will need to.
This means a one-size solution won’t really be effective, as your business will need the ability to personalize who is given access to which type of content. This is achieved by creating user groups with various access levels. Doing so allows you to control not only what your team can access, but also what type of content can access your network.
Much of this content is also legitimate security threats that content filtering can help to reduce. By preventing access to certain sites, you can eliminate the delivery system of many examples of malware and other nastiness that is out to harm your business.
Reach out to us! At KT Connections, our team can help you implement the filtering solution that you need to protect your business and its efficiency throughout the workday. To learn more, visit our Content Filtering page, or call us at 605-341-3873!