Print 33 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on Feb 14 at 11:14 AM

Establishing policies alone is not enough

Kansas State University researchers have made a pretty obvious discovery. Workers who waste time online at work won't straighten up with an internet policy alone -- they also need punishments to be enforced.

The team, led by Kansas State assistant professor Joseph Ugrin and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale associate professor John Pearson, have looked into effective ways of dealing with "cyberloafing," or wasting time on non-business-related activities online, while at work.

According to the study, workers spend about 60 to 80 percent of their time at work surfing non-work-related websites. Young people tend to spend time on social networks while older employees conduct online banking.

While internet policies with threats of termination tend to work when it comes to larger matters, like viewing pornography at work, many workers see absolutely no problem with using social networks or conducting personal business while on the clock.

We found that that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior," Ugrin said. "Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care."

The team said the only way to get the point across is to spread the word about other employees being punished for abusing their time online. At the same time, the researcher's concluded that this kind of "big brother" behavior could hurt employee morale.

This study will be published in Computers in Human Behavior.

Source: Newswise

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And I'm just sitting here...
By Hieyeck on 2/7/2013 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 5
...Contributing to the problem.

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By daboom06 on 2/7/2013 3:18:27 PM , Rating: 4
cat videos surely contribute to MY productivity.

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By prabal34 on 2/7/2013 3:37:05 PM , Rating: 5
Me too. But I don't see if the study was comparing salaried or hourly workers. I am salaried, my boss assigns me work and expects it to be done correctly and on time.

I often remote in from home to check the status of my simulations and results during the evenings and weekends so I don't really care if anyone sees me surfing tech news, or doing my banking, or reading car forums on my personal laptop (tethered to my phone) while I am at work and taking a break.

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By Souka on 2/8/2013 4:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
When I'm on the interent for personal reason, i'm taking a virtual smoke break.

Every place I've worked at didn't have an issue when my co-workers would get up to have a smoke outside...several times an hour.

Not sure how this is different....

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By Da W on 2/7/2013 3:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Count me in!

By dsquare86 on 2/7/2013 3:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
So am I, want to be pen pals?

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By arazok on 2/7/2013 4:02:29 PM , Rating: 3
Well somebody needs to test internet connectivity.

Just like everything else, my boss won’t assign anyone to do it, so I take it upon myself.

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By xti on 2/7/2013 4:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
oh great, there are timestamp on our posts!

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By jjlj on 2/7/2013 4:15:47 PM , Rating: 3
What else am I supposed to do when I'm waiting for a server to reboot, or an update to load, or and array to build, or the phone to ring? Multitask? F-that!

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By nafhan on 2/7/2013 4:26:44 PM , Rating: 3
Are you though?

I think part of the problem is that workplaces need to switch to task and activity based productivity metrics (basically, ask: "did Joe get his work done?"), and stop worrying about other stuff. Simply keeping track of how much time may have been spent browsing the web is not adequate or even very useful in many jobs (IMO).

TL;DR: Make sure stuff is getting done, and most of this micromanaging just disappears.

By Lazlo Panaflex on 2/7/2013 4:42:54 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure why you got downrated for that, but it makes sense. I'll get back to watching my Jessie J vids now...girl is HAWT, yo


By degobah77 on 2/8/2013 7:28:21 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. This is a NON issue unless you're not doing your job. Turns out, I can do my job AND what I want at the same time! Imagine that!

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By Ammohunt on 2/8/2013 12:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Thats exactly it! besides the fact some people work more efficiently than others. Employers want people like me want people like me surfing the net because when Systems Administrators are constantly working it means the are either incompetent,subject to micro management by technical managers or something is seriously broken.

RE: And I'm just sitting here...
By aliasfox on 2/7/2013 5:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, if I already have four SAS projects running concurrently and I'm waiting for the data to come back, what else am I supposed to do?

I'm not trying to write code as inefficiently as possible, I swear.

By inperfectdarkness on 2/8/2013 1:50:31 AM , Rating: 2
*puts on tin-foil hat*

You're playing into their hands. Soon they will know everything about you. The DOD unblocked social media sites for a reason...

Self employed
By augiem on 2/7/2013 5:32:29 PM , Rating: 4
Man I feel like an idiot. I do way too much work for far less than most people getting huge salaries and benefits for surfing the web.

RE: Self employed
By ShieTar on 2/8/2013 4:50:26 AM , Rating: 3
Hey, be glad. If you got those kinds of salaries, you would apparently have to waste 60% of your time just with online banking.

RE: Self employed
By dgingerich on 2/8/2013 11:57:39 AM , Rating: 3
No, the big salary people waste 80% of their time in meetings, just trying to keep track of employees and projects. My boss spends all day Tuesday and Thursday in meetings of various types, including lunch time. Most of his Mondays and Fridays are the same. Fridays, he wanders by my cube and gives me a bunch of new stuff to do or fills my email inbox with new projects.

I wouldn't take triple my salary to deal with that. I'm fine with my 'average' wage, as long as I only have to go to 2-3 meetings per week. I'm not even sitting at a desk 50% of my time. I'm usually sitting at a crash cart rebuilding a server, moving a server, installing a switch, putting more cables up, or connecting up a library. It's fun. Having a fun job is worth more than making a lot of money.

RE: Self employed
By Spuke on 2/8/2013 6:45:35 PM , Rating: 3
Having a fun job is worth more than making a lot of money.

RE: Self employed
By chripuck on 2/8/2013 10:09:54 AM , Rating: 1
This article made no mention of salary. I don't know what you consider high salary, but seeing as the average family household income in this country is 49k, I would wager the truly high salary (>100k) employees you are talking about are high salary because they don't practice this behavior.

RE: Self employed
By ShieTar on 2/8/2013 6:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have any evidence supporting this kind of theory? In my own experience, there has never been any relevant amount of correlation between work ethics and career velocity. Quiet to the contrary, the hardest working, most efficient personal has a tendency of becoming declared a "specialist" in their field and remain there for the rest of their lives; while those on the career fasttrack often have the tendency of changing positions before anybody can notice their lack of results.

Depends on definition
By dgingerich on 2/8/2013 11:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
It all depends on definition. I surf a lot, but that's usually while waiting on things. Waiting on a restore, install, backup, config, etc. I have to wait and monitor, so the only thing I can do to occupy my mind sometimes is surf. Otherwise I get bored and wander off to do something else, then something goes wrong and I don't know about it until an hour later. It's more wasted time if I don't sometimes.

There are some times where I just want to give my brain a little break, but that's not often. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there like me.

RE: Depends on definition
By dgingerich on 2/8/2013 11:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
Supplemental: Right now, I'm waiting for my vCenter server to restore so I can try upgrading to 5.1, again. The problem is that the software doing the restore is so SLOW. It's restoring a 18GB VM at the rate of 7MB/s. Talk about annoying. However, I can't do squat until it's done.

RE: Depends on definition
By dgingerich on 2/8/2013 1:22:05 PM , Rating: 3
Now I'm building an independent DC VM on another host so that we can build a new vCenter server for 5.1 since my efforts to upgrade the existing one have been so troublesome. (vSphere 5.1 is majorly troublesome.)

Title is Wrong
By Trisped on 2/8/2013 6:13:45 PM , Rating: 3
At first I though the study was way off. Then I clicked the link back to the source and found:
Between 60 and 80 percent of people's time on the Internet at work has nothing to do with work.
Not % of their work day (as the title suggests), but 60% to 80% of their time on the web while at work.

RE: Title is Wrong
By superstition on 2/11/2013 12:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
DailyTech being sensationalist?

Surely you jest!

Another study found that Germans get more done in a 6 hour workday than Americans get done in their typical 8-10 hour workday. The Germans also do a much better job separating home and office.

Quality not quantity. It's something Americans often struggle with. People spend a lot of time doing non-work tasks at work because they're they're too long. Humans are not robots.

Really badly written article...
By woody1 on 2/10/2013 11:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, workers are not spending 80% of their workday surfing, as this article misleadingly states. Rather, as somebody else pointed out, the study says that 60% to 80% of time spend web surfing is personal.

The author of this article must have been distracted by K-Pop videos when he should have been doing his work...

Bad journalist, no donut!

By superstition on 2/11/2013 12:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is DailyTech. It's what they do.

There's an XKCD for That
By Omega215D on 2/8/2013 2:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
It's compiling.

Wrong picture
By ProZach on 2/8/2013 2:21:36 AM , Rating: 2
Much as I like "O" Space, I think the picture should have been Zach Grenier on the subject of photocopier abuse.

Just sayin'... sir.

By Netscorer on 2/10/2013 3:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
How can you conduct banking 60% of your time? My banking now is so automated I don't even bother logging in. It automatically pulls and pays all my bills and this is all I have use for it as I'm sure most of people.

By Wolfpup on 2/14/2013 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
If so, who cares what else they're doing? If you're doing your job, and can fit in whatever else, whether it's watching a show or reading or browsing the web, it shouldn't matter, and thankfully some places are pretty progressive about that, and most employees doing abuse it, putting work first.

Liam. I see what you mean.
By wangtassinari on 2/8/13, Rating: -1
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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