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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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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.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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