Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Thursday, March 15, 2012, 11:45 AM

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How many hours a day do you spend surfing the net or engaging in social network activities while at work? Salary.com surveyed 3,200 workers to find out what people really do when at work.

In the survey, 64 percent said they visit non-work related websites every day during work hours. Of that 64 percent, 39 percent spend one hour or less per week, 29 percent spend 2 hours a week, 21 percent waste 5 hours per week, and only 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more doing unrelated things.

What sites are keeping workers off-task and unproductive? 41 percent socialize on Facebook and 37 percent use LinkedIn.

It seems that time wasting is inevitable and standard at any workplace. But what are the reasons for it?

Those surveyed expressed the reasons they waste time at work: 1- they don't feel challenged enough in their job, 2- they feel the hours they work are too long, 3- the company doesn't give incentives to work harder, 4- they are unsatisfied with their career, or 5- they're just bored.

These reasons explain why 46 percent of workers look for a new job while at their current place of employment.

Although the temptation to web surf is strong, it isn't the only means by which workers waste time. Meetings, co-workers, and fixing others' mistakes are just some of the issues that cause employees to be less productive.

What should companies do to prevent time-wasting? One answer would be to implement a Web filtering tool on company computers. With that, the IT dept. can block web sites not related to work activities.

But those surveyed said even when companies block personal websites, they find ways to access them via personal devices. So, would filters really be efficient?

Salary.com asks “is it really a waste?” Out of the 3,200 surveyed, 71 percent said the short breaks throughout the day help them be more productive.

What can your company do to boost productivity and keep employees satisfied?

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.


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