If Employees Waste Too Much Time At Work, Consider Blocking Facebook and LinkedIn

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 9:22 AM


The 2014 survey from Salary.com reveals that 89 percent of U.S. Employees waste time at work every day. There are a myriad of ways to waste time at work, and web surfing is a large contributor. The top three most-visited websites while at work are Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

To put that into some perspective, consider that there are more than 1.2 billion active Facebook users who have uploaded 250 billion photos. (Source) That is a lot of distracting information. And 64 percent of Facebook users check-in each day—to keep up. (Source)  

At the same time, there are 277 million LinkedIn users (source) and 40 percent of them check-in daily. (Source)

C’mon, is this really an issue?

When an employee is on the job, the organization pays for their time, taxes, and benefits.  As a manager, if an employee takes supplies home, steals  equipment, or goes shopping every afternoon, would you object?  Loss of time is a loss of productivity which directly impacts an organization.

Employee productivity, in part, could potentially be improved by limiting or blocking access to Facebook, LinkedIn, or other distracting websites. Unless access to specific websites is part of the employee’s role, such as marketing, they can be a distraction from real work.

What can be done?

There are software and hardware solutions on the market today that can enable blocking (or allowing) specific websites.  Not only can you block social networks, but organizations could block YouTube (also a top time-wasting site at work), shopping websites, or even pornography and gambling websites—which are prone to containing malware. Thus, indirectly, an organization can even improve its internal security by blocking malware-prone websites.

Solutions exist to allow or block websites from being viewed based on a particular user or a group. In other words, if your organization wants to block Facebook or LinkedIn, those sites can be out of reach of everyone, or a group, or just a select few.  This flexibility lets an organization set policies for those who abuse their web privileges or for those who do not need access.

If this stance seems a bit excessive, you are also able to block websites based on times of day or days of the week.  For example, your IT person can set a time range to block a website from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Or, set a policy to give all employees five hours access per week per specific website. This way, the employee can choose when to take their “me” time with Facebook.

Of course, employees will likely use their personal smartphone to access social networks regardless of the policy you establish for the company. However, it may be a bit more inconvenient. And, if you have a policy established, as a manager, you can enforce disciplinary action, if ever needed.

Consider it. Facebook and social network blocking, whether completely or just during specific times of day, can potentially improve employee performance. Let ContentProtect Pro or the ContentProtect Security Appliance resolve these issues for you.

Other tidbits from the recent www.Salary.com survey:

  • Who wastes the most time at work? Single men in their 20s – 30s without higher education
  • At work, 91% of men waste time vs. 87% of women.
  • At work, 91% of employees ages 18-25 waste time daily.
  • The most time wasted at work is Friday—for 44% of people.
  • Which industry wastes the most time at work? Finance and banking.
  • If employers blocked web sites, 56% of employees said they use their own device to view.

Note: This article and the opinions expressed here are from Russ Warner, Internet safety expert and CEO of ContentWatch, makers of parental control software, Net Nanny.