How Employees are ‘Wasting Time’ at Work
A new CareerBuilder survey finds employees have a variety of different ways to waste time at work these days, and many of them involve their smart phones.
The national survey asked employers to name the biggest productivity killers at work, and they cited the following:
- 52 percent, texting;
- 44 percent, the internet;
- 37 percent, gossiping;
- 31 percent, email;
- 26 percent, co-workers dropping by;
- 26 percent, meetings;
- 27 percent, smoke and snack breaks;
- 17 percent, noisy co-workers; and
- 10 percent, sitting in a cubicle.
According to the survey, when employers were asked to name the strangest thing they ever saw a worker doing, they gave a variety of responses including:
- Taking a sponge bath in the bathroom sink;
- One employee trying to hypnotize another to stop that person from smoking cigarettes;
- Sleeping on the CEO's couch;
- Flying a drone around the office;
- Allegedly looking for a mail-order bride online; and
- Drinking vodka while watching Netflix.
Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said in order to maintain order and keep the workplace productive certain standards should be established.
"I think you have to set the right expectations from the beginning of the employment relationship, have appropriate rules in place that people understand and then manage around those," Siekerka said. "Any work environment can be fine if you set the right expectations and when you ensure people understand the rules and then you just hold them accountable to the rules."
At the same time she said people need a release during the workday.
"In today's society we hear more and more people are doing more with less, workplaces are very stressful places, and I think you need to provide the opportunity for people to have a proper outlet because that makes them efficient and effective," she said. "We want efficient workers so give them a chance to breathe, find a fun way for them to breathe and then they're going to be more productive for you."
Siekerka said it's important to make sure this issue is addressed, otherwise it can create many different problems in many different ways.
"Everyone has rules around particularly the use of their own technology, and in a cyber-security world we're very, very sensitive to what people are doing online, and on equipment so there are workplace rules around that," she said. "So employers should create the right environment for outlet when it's needed for de-stressers when it's needed, and give staff the opportunity to come together and have some fun in the workplace."
She also said these days more and more employees are expected to be available 24/7.
"So if my boss is calling me at 7 p.m. because I have a smart phone, they know they can get me," she said. "I guess they're going to have understand when my kid calls me at 11 a.m. from school and has a need as well."