These types of articles really really get me going.
54% of Companies Ban …
I’m sorry but I am not surprised that 77% of employees who had access to Facebook used it during the work day! Ok how many logged onto personal email accounts, made a personal phone call, used their personal mobile phone, had some non-work related discussion in the kitchen while getting a coffee.
Given that 63% of Australian employees are not full engaged at work it is not surprising that they are looking for a distraction. Close down Facebook, Twitter, MySpace whatever you will not see an increase in productivity.
We know from academic research that companies that engage their workforce perform better. Research from Alex Edmans, a business professor from Whartons School, has shown that engaged employees do in fact drive company performance. He looked at Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”and found that an annually rebalanced portfolio returned 14% between 1998 – 2005 compared to the market in general of only 6%.
So let’s ignore the research found that employees who “surf the Internet at work” are 9% more productive than those that don’t. Or the productivity benefits of engaged employees? Or the real life statements from employees of Australia’s largest employers.
If your employees are spending too much time using social media I would question do you have a management problem or a technical problem?
(Source: Flickr dietpoison)An Australian report released yesterday found that employees who “surf the Internet work” are 9% more productivity than those that don’t! The study was conducted by Dr Brent Coker from the Department of Management and Marketing.
The study covered 300 workers and found that 70% engage in what has has termed “workplace Internet leisure browsing” and helps with their concentration.
“It’s the same in the work place. Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days work, and as a result, increased productivity.”
The Deacons Social Networking Survey found that a majority of Internet users (91%) felt they use the internet appropriately while at work. It could be said that not only are people who have access to these sites more productive a majority use the tools appropriately. To all those organisations that are blocking sites such as YouTube, Facebook etc due to productivity issues, well you might in fact have it the wrong way around!
Let me push this thinking further.
Trusting and respecting your employees provides a foundation for engagement. With somewhere in the order of 20% of Australian employees actively disengaged and 62% general not engaged. Organisations need to work on engagement, part of this is how to motivate employees and improve employee morale, ok this is not news to most.
What if you trusted your employees that they would ‘behave’ on the internet and allowing them “workplace Internet leisure browsing”?
You might find that not only are they more productive, more engaged, motivated and have a higher morale. Also don’t forget that companies with highly engaged employees tend to out perform (financial returns) their competitors by 2:1.
Of course there is always a flip side, the study also found some of us are addicted to the internet and as such “workplace Internet leisure browsing” just feeds the addicition. Oh well maybe it is time for some IAA meetings.