Friday, December 9, 2022

Truth In IT

How Much Time Are Your Employees Spending Online And Not Working? Learn How To Combat This

Not so many people can claim that they work full time without having a few distractions. It will surprise you to know that most employees spend at least 2-3 hours on activities that are actually not work-related. According to many HR professionals, one of the biggest distractions in workplaces happens to be the internet. This might sound a bit contradictory, given the fact that the internet is a tool through which most organization tasks are accomplished.

This having been said, it’s surprising that most employers are unaware of this or are turning a blind eye on the issue. As an employer, you want to be on top of things. This, however, doesn’t mean you become oppressive or adopt exorbitant measures to combat time wastage by employees. There is a need to find ethical ways of monitoring how your employees are spending their time online while at work. This may be the only way to ensure that they remain productive and that they don’t bring your business down. So, how much time are your employees spending online and not working? Better still, how can you combat this?

Online distractions are increasingly becoming an epidemic in workplaces and its costing companies tons of money. Moreover, the sources of internet distractions seem to be widespread, increasing by the minute. This brings us to one important question, do you know what your employees are doing online? Here are some common things they might be doing while in the real sense they should be working.

Playing Online Games

Gone are the days we had a limited source of online games and one had to choose between solitaire and minesweeper or chess and other games that come with common computer operating systems. In this day and age, computer users are spoilt for options when it comes to gaming, especially considering the fact that today’s tech gadgets have really advanced. Today an employee can play a number of online games such as Kerching to name one of many. They’ll be using your internet and still manage to make an extra buck out of it. It may be to their advantage, but at the end of the day, it might also end up costing your company a great deal of valuable time and resources.

Booking Holidays

Most of your employees may be so bored to the extent that they may be opting to ask for vacation leave. During this time, they may be using the company’s internet and time planning for their next holiday. There are so many destinations to choose from and your employees may be on Google going through all the available options on the results.

Online Shopping

The internet has become a hub of information as well as a market for products and services. There are so many online shops selling all sorts of products and services. It’s now become easier to order things online, with the provision of free delivery. This has become a common internet distraction that could be robbing your company or business of productive hours.

These are but a few of the most common internet distractions that your employees deal with. It has become difficult to curb these behaviors, given the fact that they’ll still use their smartphones, even when the other available channels have been cut. Luckily, there are various ways through which this epidemic can be solved. Failure to which, your company may fail to meet its performance goals and cost you money.

This having been laid down, here’s how to deal with employees who waste time online.

It Starts With Leadership

It’s said that everything rises and falls on leadership. This means that as an employer, you need to set high standards as much as conduct and performance are concerned. So, as an employer, you need to be proactive in ensuring that your employees don’t waste time online. For instance, you can do the following to ensure the same:

  • Be as clear as you can be
  • Pinpoint the problems
  • Reward productivity

It’s also very important to exhibit your genuine passion for what you do. This will be translated and replicated in the character of your employee. Of course, there will always be black sheep. But it’s easier dealing with a single person than dealing with the whole workforce.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Time tracking has come a long way. It began when employees could manually stamp cards and handed them to their respective supervisors. But you really don’t expect that in this day and age. There are several time-tracking applications that would help in curbing this time-wasting epidemic. Choosing the right application may be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have prior knowledge. Here’s how to choose the best time-tracking software.

  • Determine the devices you’ll be using
  • Nature of work and your needs
  • Figure out how easy it is to use the software
  • Your budget needs

Setting Goals

This is an effective approach that works every time. Ensuring that your employees meet their goals and targets is one way of ensuring that even if they’ll be tempted to surf the internet, they’ll still manage to beat the deadlines. It’s important that you sensitize them of the importance of meeting the company timelines as well as in adhering to the laid down rules.

It’s also very important that your employees come to terms with their job responsibilities and what is expected of them. It’s very important that you create the time to meet with each and every employee in creating realistic goals as well as in reviewing their achievements.

Building a Solid Company Culture

As an employer, you need to build a strong culture that your employees need to stick to. This will go a long way in helping to reduce the amount of time wasted online. If it means implementing technological measures, so be it. In so doing, it will protect your company’s security integrity while at the same time limiting access to non-work websites.


Even after doing all the right things, there comes a time where you have to make some tough decisions based on a person’s productivity as well as their attitude towards work. This way, you’ll be helping your company avoid unforeseeable legal complications from such individuals. For this to happen, you need to have a sit down with the employee and be frank about your decisions. In addition to this, you need to have everything documented. If letting go doesn’t seem like a good idea, you have the option of coaching them, writing an official notice, or putting them on probation. If all else fails, do not hesitate to let them go.

Even after your employees show up to work on time, you still need to know if they’ll get the job done. More often than not, they will not be doing what you think they are doing. While time wasting remains a rampant pain in the neck to employees, it’s important that your employees are sensitized on the importance of sticking to the company’s rules and regulations.

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