Cyber-loafing: Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Nazreen, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Nazreen

    Nazreen
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    Cyber-loafing is surfing the web when you're at work and supposed to be working. In a recent survey in Singapore, the most common activities done were personal emailing, instant messaging, and visiting websites that are non-work related.

    Most employers worry that a lot of man-hours are lost resulting in a decrease in productivity, all because of cyber-loafing. But in the survey done, most males claim that cyber-loafing actually helps to motivate them to work. Some also claim that it also helps them deal with issues at work. This could be because it provides an avenue of escape from work-related stress.

    Women that were surveyed, however, feel that cyber-loafing distracts them from work and are more likely to do less work.

    How about you? What's your take on this?
     
  2. Fergal

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    I think that a huge amount of quality work time is lost because employees are spending time looking at sites that are irrelevant to their work.

    The Internet is an important business tool for employees at every level in a company. Searching the web allows employees to obtain great ideas for doing their job better because they can see how other companies and other people do things. It is also a great place for researching suppliers, customers, future employees, etc. I myself have often asked questions on various web forums that have yielded valuable information for my work.

    Unfortunately this is often abused by employees doing their own personal stuff online. Everyone needs some downtime at work, whether it is chatting to a colleague or going outside into the fresh air for a minutes. But I've personally witnessed employees spending a huge amount of work time doing stuff on the Internet that is of no benefit to their employers. I've even seen employees doing this and then missing deadlines for important work.
     
  3. Nazreen

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    For the employers point of view, they would consider this to be bad. So irregardless of whether the employee considers this as good or bad, he should still make it a point not to let the boss see that he's cyber-loafing at work.

    For those employees who's a regular at cyber-loafing, I think that he or she should be responsible enough and try to finish their work first before engaging in this. It should be work before pleasure.

    For myself, I think that cyber-loafing is good. I always cyber-loaf during my breaks and when I'm really not doing anything. I always start the task that are assigned to me the moment I receive them and try to finish them as fast as I can. I don't like to leave work lying around when I can already do it.
     
  4. deepak_sharma

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    I also beleive that a lot of valuable time is wasted on these activities which otherwise could have been used in doing some productive work..
     
  5. djschwab

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    I work independently and surf the web all the time primarily for business reasons. I rarely spend time on sites that aren't going to be productive in regards to my work.

    When I worked for a company, I found myself surfing non-work related sites all the time. Isn't amazing how when someone else is paying you, this activity seems to be okay.
     
  6. Fergal

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    Very good point DJ. When working for someone else I have always tried to act as if I was working for myself. I regularly ask myself would I do this if I owned the company or what decision would I make if I owned the company.
     
  7. jigyasa

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    It is hard not to browse around if you have Internet at your disposal. And in recent times, no employer can do without providing to his employees the Internet. But measures can be taken to minimize cyber-loafing. Various firewalls or monitoring systems solve the problem to a great extent.
     
  8. Fergal

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    Perhaps employees should be a little more disciplined in this respect.

    When visiting a site you could ask yourself if you would be comfortable with your boss knowing that you are viewing it on work time. If the answer is no, then you should probably be doing something else.
     
  9. Lihualee

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    Happy

    bump and lurk
     
  10. Kay

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    Call me old -fashioned, but I was brought up to believe that you do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. It horrifies me that people would spend time surfing during working hours. For them to turn around and say it motivates them is almost laughable. Motivates them to do what, surf a while longer?

    I think it's laziness, plain and simple. You're ripping off the employer just as much as if you'd left early when the boss wasn't there or pinched some stationery.

    Let's look at the bigger picture here. The less productive the staff are, the less money the company makes. The bottom line is there's then no cash available for improved salaries or working conditions when profits are at a standstill. Not only are slackers hurting the company (who are probably the ones keeping a roof over their family's head and deserve loyalty for that very reason alone), they are hurting themselves and every other employee.

    I think it's a disgraceful way to behave and I would never abuse the trust of being given internet access in a workplace. Companies shouldn't need to employ measures like firewalls in my opinion. It's the staff that need to be more self-regulating.

    This is a pet peeve of mine, can you tell? :D
     
  11. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Kay, your views and opinions are refreshing and thanks for sharing them with us.

    I agree with you that when staff don't do what they are paid to do at work, they are effectively stealing from their employers.
     
  12. Kay

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    They are! I came across this old story today and was reminded of this thread. While the guy ended up getting into more trouble than the loafer and it was probably not worth it, it still shows it's not just an odd five minutes here or there.

    source article

    This is a real problem. I can't believe it has any less of a negative effect on productivity than the staff member who takes that extra long lunch or works at a snail's pace but magically manages to speed up the closer it gets to the end of their shift so they can get home.
     
  13. Nazreen

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    The company probably thought that Vernon didn't have anything better to do than monitor his boss' activities. Creating spyware would also tick off every person in that company especially the management and it's also illegal besides.

    This story of Vernon also reminds me of the management lesson below.
     
  14. Kay

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    Yep, as I said, it really wasn't worth doing and admittedly a bit on the dumb side.

    Ha! That was very funny, Nazreen. I'll be stealing that for my quote collection if you don't mind, thanks very much! My son came in there to see what I'd burst out laughing about.
     
  15. Fergal

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    Excellent and most appropriate analogy, Nazreen :)

    The cyber-loafing story happened in the "Alabama Department of Transport". The outcome regarding who got sacked would probably be different if the same incident happened in a private, for profit company. I don't think a company focused on profits would be so lenient on a non-performing boss or so harsh on an employee that was trying to make things better.
     
  16. scifi

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    A research shows that while doing work continuously, productivity level often goes down.So it is better to engage yourself for few min. in activities you love doing to recharge yourself. Cyber Loafing should be allowed to employees for small period of time during working hours which will not only help in release stress but also increase their productivity.
    Else like every coin has two sides it also has its own pros & cons.
     
  17. johndale

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    Since Twitter and Facebook is making a history I think there's a lot of cyber-loafers nowadays. It really has a great impact on the quality of a job in a company.
     

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