Employee Productivity Has Gone to the Birds

Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 8:04 AM


With the headline, “The world's love of Angry Birds could be costing U.S. businesses over $1.5 billion in lost wages, it’s a good time to consider the impact the Internet has on employee productivity. (Source: Business Insider.)
Left to themselves, employees get distracted by Facebook, personal email, downloading videos, web browsing, music streaming, fantasy sports, online shopping, online banking, pornography, gambling, and the like.
Some stats suggest that up to two hours a day are spent by the average employee doing non-work-related Internet use.  If an organization has 20 employees, and each person surfs the web 1.5 hours per day, and the average wage is $25/hour, then the organization is losing $195,000 per year (assuming a 260-day work year.)
In addition to the time lost while roaming the web, employees don’t realize that just by visiting some web sites, a browser can become infected with malware.  Thus, there is a security risk to an organization if it has a “hands off my Internet approach to managing the team.
Finally, if the organization doesn’t take a stand on pornography use on company assets or premises, a sexual harassment lawsuit might result.  This would be due to the company’s negligence at creating a “hostile work environment when a female employee is exposed to pornography against her will.
There are tools to filter and limit Internet use by employees. Angry Birds would then be relegated to a hobby done off premise and after hours.  It’s your choice.