Combating the Costs of Office Distractions

Christopher Lentz | October 31, 2013 05:05 PM

These days surfing Facebook or Pinterest are common place among every age group. Recent studies have shown that retiress, those 65 and older, are the fastest growing group of social media users on the net. What does that mean for your business? It means more of your employees will be on their favorite social media website, either from the convenience of their work computer or their smart phones. Either way, these and other things can lead to lost productivity and in the end, lost revenue. 

Recognizing Office Distrations

One of the best tell-tale signs is the often used, browse close trick. Imagine you are sitting at your desk, viewing a website you know your company has requested not to be viewed. Then suddenly, your manager comes around the corner. You quickly close your browser and open up the closest application related to work that you can find. 

This is a common trick used by the social media addict, one of the largest distrations for a workplace environent. Don't let your staff pull the wool over your eyes, be on the lookout.

Proper Policy Reduces Office Distrations

Like most anything in an office environment, proper written and signed policies will help reduce unacceptable network use and increase productivity. These policies can also help eliminate HR issues associated with terminating empoyees for lack of productivity/misuse of network resources. Clearly state what sites are acceptable, and more importantly who can access them. For example, social media is a great tool for marketing and sales users so allowing those specific users should be noted in the policy. Be sure to also list the site categories that are not permitted on your company's network. Setting up these policies is the first step to reducing unwanted office distractions and increased worker productivity.

Using Technology to Combat Distractions

These days, most firewall devices have the ability to block websites by address and category simultaneously. If you want to restrict your staff but not completely, there are usually options to allow the sites during common lunch hours or other designated times. Balancing your staff's time on social media can help increase worker moral and productivity at the same time. We are a species driven by connection, and social media plays into that. Employee satisfaction can also play a large role in your businesses productivity levels. Keeping them happy can sometimes mean small compromises on both sides. Ultimately, the choice is yours and varies according to your business goals. 

Let our team help put an acceptable use policy together for your business as well as configuring your firewall to restrict unwanted traffic to the biggest time wasters.

 

Enforma IT provides Cisco Network Consulting, VMware Virutualization Consultanting, and Server/Desktop Support in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland, San Jose, and Chicago metropolitan areas.

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