Manhattan, Kansas–Be honest. You’ve logged onto a social media network, checked your bank account, or snuck a peek at some salacious news story about a big time athlete being caught red-handed in a torrid love affair during your workday. And since you’re admitting guilt right now, you ought to be aware it could cost you your job.
If you’re anything like your average coworker, you’ve spent up to 80 percent of your day surfing the internet. Only now, it’s called “cyberloafing” and the trend is becoming a big problem for companies large and small. Hundreds of thousands of work hours are being squandered each and every year as employees young and old spend time online engaging in tasks that have nothing whatsoever to do with their workplace responsibilities, according to research conducted by Kansas State University.
Surprisingly, the phenomenon doesn’t seem to bear-out a particular demographic. Young and old, male or female, everyone seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time wasting their workday. “Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook,” said Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of accounting at KSU.
What shocked researches is that policies prohibiting workers from using social media didn’t serve as a deterrent. Neither did the fact companies informing employees they were being monitored, “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,” Ugrin added.
But companies are taking measures to reduce the costly art of cyberloafing and could go so far as to issue pink slips to offenders. The bottom line is, employees are being paid to produce and businesses want their money’s worth.