ARE YOU CYBERLOAFING AT WORK?
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
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.
WHY AN EMPLOYEE CYBERLOAFS
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.
IN MODERATION, IT CAN BE HELPFUL
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.
HOW TO CURB IT?
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