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In the News: How employees waste time and what can be done to prevent it

An article compiled by Biz 3.0 and Time Doctor examines the myriad ways in which your employees waste their time while on the clock.

Unsurprisingly, the top time waster was surfing the web, which was reported by 48 percent of employees. In addition, nearly a third of employees reported that they felt it was OK to use the internet for non-work related searches every day.

Other top time-wasters include:
•socializing with co-workers (33%)
•conducting personal business (30%)
•making personal phone calls (19%), and
•taking long lunch breaks (15%).

To combat this time-wasting, more than 50 percent of companies prohibit certain sites altogether, with Facebook and Twitter leading the list of the most restricted websites. But what would the time savings from blocking a site such as Facebook entail? Well, according to the authors, nearly an hour a day per employee.

Other companies, meanwhile, are implementing employee workplace monitoring. Such programs use software to track employees’ online activity at work or their emails. While ther are certainly some serious legal flaws associated with this practice, it can be highly effective if implemented correctly.

However, a study published in Computers in Human Behavior finds that policies and programs designed to prevent online time wasting don’t actually work unless they are enforced. They noted that threats of termination and certain detection software can improve compliance, but the best approach is to let employees know of other workers who were disciplined or terminated for inappropriate web surfing.

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