At the workplace computer and internet connectivity is as common place, as the pen and pencils and in some organisations is used more than the latter. It is a given, that technology drives this new world. We have seen the gains that technology has offered us in bridging the gap between trade, economy, health and education, to name a few. Online learning, accessing regional and international markets, purchasing items online, investing in stock markets and other financial medium and even allowing specialist to guide the performance of surgery via the internet speaks wonder for this access to technology.
At least 99% of businesses within the private and public sector have access to the use of the internet. In some businesses there are policies guiding the use of the internet whilst in others it is expected that the employees will understand that the use of the internet is to effectively carry out the work of the organisation, and not their ‘own’ personal affairs. But alas, short of blocking off certain sites and being viewed as backward thinking by employees, how does one monitor the use of the internet? It is common place to visit offices and see the computer screen not on a word document, not on a spreadsheet file, not even on a news website, but rather on Social Media Sites. Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail and other email sites and their accompanying games and chat have become the hallmark of the Office computer. Employees are too busy planting fake crops; weeding grass; feeding fake animals and chatting online to attend to the business telephone calls, to service the client who is right in front of them and are actually watching them planting and weeding, and whatever else takes their fancy. When these things happen Social Media in the work place becomes a real problem, and if quantified actually cost the business money and affects their profitability in the long run.
Do not get me wrong! there is nothing wrong with the Social Media. However, this activity like ‘exercising’ should be reserved for your leisure time and should not be performed during your work time. Remember you are getting paid to perform effectively and efficiently, not to waste time on Social Media. The ultimate question is therefore, “Should businesses ban Social Media during Work Hours”. The answer will depend on whether Managers believe that it affects employees’ productivity and consequently the business.
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