WORKOUT WWWa time waster
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.