June 18th, 2015

Top Ways Employees Are Wasting Time at Work

You provide a PC workstation for your employee to do actual work. How are they actually spending their time? Perhaps not all that surprisingly, Salary magazine reports that 69 percent of polled employees said they waste at least some time at work on a daily basis (even if a good portion of the other 31 percent just told the pollster what they wanted to hear, that’s bad enough). It’s not getting better, either. The problem is up 20 percent from last year.

Unless you’ve got employee monitoring software, the numbers aren’t looking good. How bad is it?

  • If your employee is goofing off online, there’s a 24 percent chance they’re just surfing on Google. Facebook came in as a close second. LinkedIn was pegged at just 14 percent, with the caveat that if your employee is on there, they might not just be harmlessly clicking away, but are in the process of jumping ship to a competitor.
  • 16 percent wasted time on other sites including Yahoo, Amazon, YouTube, ESPN, Pinterest, Twitter, and Craigslist.
  • Potentially the worst number? 53 percent of employees rationalized that they took breaks on these sites to boost their overall productivity. OK, then…

Stories of Employees Wasting Time

Who are the worst offenders? As a leading computer monitoring software company, we hear all kinds of horror stories about what employees were doing when they got caught. Consider these anecdotes – and know that they’re just the tip of the iceberg:

  • The Social Media Maven. “We had a few employees who were addicted to social media,” says Chris Cardillo from Cloud Grid Networks. “Before Facebook it was Myspace. It drew their attention away from work, producing results and their quality…
    “The most egregious situation occurred when a user who was completely locked out of his social media, went to a back room and logged in via wifi and a laptop just to get access to his Facebook. Not only did we have to let the user go; we had to block the sites from the guest network, which at the time was open for guests to use.”
  • The Googler. “I hired an accountant to prepare for an audit,” recalls E. William Horne of William Warren Consulting. “He sent over a clerk who was supposedly organizing my paperwork, but she starting surfing the net – at $78/hour – so I called her boss, complained, and then logged into my router and blocked all web access. She was done in half a day.”
  • The Movie Buff. “I once worked in an open office area with an employee who had a desk backed up against the wall,” remembers Patrick Hope. “It was situated so that nobody else in the office was able to see his screens. He had a marketing poster encased in hard plastic right behind him and from my desk I could see a perfect reflection of one of his double screens. It wasn’t something that he knew and under any other circumstances it really wouldn’t matter – my desk was half way across the room and facing his. Well, he began watching videos on one of his screens. It started with Youtube Video and then became pirated TV and movie and eventually progressed to porn.”

Got a story about how employees were wasting time? Let us know what they were up to – and what happened when you caught them!

Photo by Bengsoon Chuah, Flickr