WORK­OUT WWWa time waster

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Career One -

CIG­A­RETTES are off the hook as dis­trac­tions at the work­place. But web surf­ing is in — so is per­sonal email. Tech­nol­ogy, widely ac­knowl­edged as the key en­abling force of the mod­ern work­place, is also the arch en­emy of pro­duc­tiv­ity. About 27 per cent of those sur­veyed by global re­cruit­ment con­sul­tancy Robert Wal­ters cited web surf­ing and 19 per cent in­di­cated per­sonal emails as the ma­jor dis­trac­tions at work. Em­ploy­ers do not have to worry any more about time lost through smok­ing breaks and per­sonal calls — they were iden­ti­fied by 7 per cent and 3 per cent, re­spec­tively, of those sur­veyed.

By far the big­gest sin­gle dis­trac­tion still re­mains chatty friends (44 per cent).

‘‘ In­creased work pres­sure and long hours can also mean the line be­tween work and so­cial life be­comes blurred,’’ says Bruce Henderson, Robert Wal­ters di­rec­tor in Perth. ‘‘ The trend to­wards web surf­ing, in­clud­ing the mas­sive pop­u­lar­ity of on­line so­cial net­work­ing, has likely taken the place of much ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Us­ing on­line chan­nels to com­mu­ni­cate and com­plete per­sonal tasks just makes it less de­tectable to man­agers and em­ploy­ers. Th­ese days you might ap­pear to be en­gulfed in your work, when in fact you are surf­ing the web for a hol­i­day or chat­ting with friends — or even col­leagues across the of­fice.’’

The an­swer to th­ese new dis­trac­tions lies in an ac­knowl­edge­ment of their in­evitabil­ity, in Henderson’s view.

‘‘ De­spite the fact we con­tinue to find dis­trac­tions from our work, by agree­ing upon clear and rea­son­able pa­ram­e­ters for per­sonal time in the of­fice, em­ploy­ers will ul­ti­mately keep staff happy and pro­duc­tiv­ity up,’’ he says.

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