Getting Your Employees to Stop Looking at Cat Photos: A Preliminary Overview

Bored employees are very seldom productive employees. A business whose employees are passionate and excited about the company’s mission is likely to get more work done in a typical day than a company whose employees require an hourly trip to the coffee shop just to stay awake. While technology has delivered productivity tools to keep employees on task and blocking tools to keep them off Facebook and Reddit, an employee who is determined to look at cute cat pictures during work hours is going to find a way to do so. How can IT manage the influx of personal use of company technology?

Salary.com’s Time at Work Study in 2014 found the following:

89% of employees waste at least 30 minutes a day

53% believed that time “wasted” promotes greater overall productivity

27% of employers block non work-related websites

Here are 3 ways IT can work to rein in personal use at work:

Optimize your BYOD policy. Can bringing a personal device to work help to reduce personal usage? Counterintuitively, yes! Working on a device that you know and love is a lot easier than working on one that’s been randomly assigned to you. The policy also has to take into account compatibility and accessibility by device type and security parameters. By ensuring your BYOD policy is flexible with changing technology, it promotes acceptance by employees.

Conduct productivity reviews. By partnering with Human Resources and other departments, you can evaluate the role of technology across your company. If technology is not being used as it should, you may uncover opportunities to have it work for your employees to grow your business.

Bring people together. IT can work to bring people together. For example, unified communication systems help to contain access and flow, while being open to new ways we share information. If personal use is found to be a way to break up the monotony of work, maybe we can use unified communication tools to bring people together to get excited about work.

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