If you spend most of your time on so­cial me­dia at work, then you are guilty of cyberloafing. Here’s how much is too much when it comes to so­cial me­dia us­age

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­ ■

Ever won­dered why some­times it be­comes hard for us to con­cen­trate on work dur­ing the work­ing hours? While some of us have a short at­ten­tion span, and tend to get dis­tracted by dis­trac­tions such as a dic­ta­tor like boss, love in­ter­est at work, chat­ter boxes in your cu­bi­cle and oth­ers. Th­ese are only one side of the coin, the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia com­bine for the other side. The mo­ment we sit in front of our sys­tems, most of us are prone to check Face­book, In­sta­gram, YouTube. And by the time you are done surf­ing and check­ing who posted what on so­cial me­dia, half the day has al­ready passed.

Ac­cord­ing to Google, this coun­ter­pro­duc­tive be­hav­iour at the work, where an em­ployee en­gages in non­work online ac­tiv­i­ties while be­ing on the clock is de­fined as cyberloafing. Cyberloafing is detri­men­tal to an or­gan­i­sa­tion as dis­tracted em­ploy­ees end up en­gag­ing in non-pro­duc­tive work dur­ing the work hours. But ac­cord­ing to psy­chol­o­gist Pulkit Sharma and Dr Amit Sethi, psy­chol­o­gist and coun­selor, cyberloafing is a com­plex is­sue, which is both pro­duc­tive and at the same time coun­ter­pro­duc­tive, de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion. So, read on as they de­code cyberloafing.


One of the main rea­sons why em­ploy­ees cy­ber­loaf is lack of in­ter­est in one’s work. Also, to suc­cess­fully in­te­grate in the work cul­ture of a place, em­ployee’s in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships at work play an im­por­tant role. Ear­lier, peo­ple used to bond over tea or cof­fee at work but nowa­days — in this age and time — peo­ple are more in­ter­ested in vir­tual world of so­cial me­dia rather than bond­ing over tea. Mostly, work shirk­ers are found guilty of cyberloafing. While, a few em­ploy­ees cy­ber­loaf be­cause they know that the com­pany is too lax to do any­thing about it. How­ever, at times em­ploy­ees can’t help but cy­ber­loaf as they have al­ready fin­ished their work be­fore time.


Em­ploy­ees aren’t ma­chines, and it’s un­just to ex­pect them to work like one. They need breaks to re­fresh them­selves and that’s where so­cial me­dia comes into play. Ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous stud­ies, brows­ing in mod­er­a­tion can help re­lieve stress. So a short break taken by an em­ployee to cy­ber­loaf can prove pro­duc­tive as well.


It’s usu­ally the de-mo­ti­vated em­ploy­ees who slack at work. They kill time at work by cyberloafing. Re­strict­ing the use of so­cial me­dia web­sites is not ideal as it will make em­ploy­ees feel that their pri­vacy has been in­vaded. This can cre­ate un­pleas­ant work environment. In­stead, what an em­ployer can do, is spend some one-on-one time with em­ploy­ees to fig­ure out how they can be mo­ti­vated. Other so­lu­tion is to give em­ploy­ees ac­cess to so­cial me­dia only when they are not at their work­sta­tions. As long as it’s done on em­ploy­ees’ per­sonal de­vices, and not on com­pany’s server; it’s to­tally ac­cept­able. What a joke or a funny video or a good chat with your friends does in im­prov­ing one’s mood — so­cial me­dia some­what does the same, if not ex­actly the same. So, em­ploy­ers need to be care­ful while fig­ur­ing out how to curb the use of so­cial me­dia to im­prove their em­ploy­ees’ pro­duc­tiv­ity.

To­day, so­cial me­dia is an ad­dic­tion. It’s sim­i­lar to what a smok­ing break does to a nico­tine addict. And it’s in­hu­mane to deny peo­ple there fix SHASHWAT GUPTA, 28, MEKATRONIC SOLUTIONS Yes, it’s true peo­ple who are not mo­ti­vated tend to cy­ber­loaf as a way to kill time. But re­strict­ing so­cial me­dia us­age is not the right way to go about it RAHUL JAISWAL, 32, EN­GI­NEER

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