Cyberslacking and its Effect on Worker Productivity

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Have you ever checked Facebook while at work? Chances are, you most likely have taken a break at one point during the workday to check Facebook, or any other social media site. Participating in this behavior means you are engaging in the new phenomenon of cyberslacking. Cyberslacking refers to an employee who browses the internet for personal matters while at work. Some of the most common examples of cyberslacking include employees who are playing video games, shopping online, checking social media, and instant messaging. Employers have seen an increase in cyberslacking as the Internet has become an important aspect in society. Cyberslacking has now become a problem for many managers in the workplace, but there are some advantages with this new phenomenon.

Managers and business owners have noticed that their employees are cyberslacking more often now than ever before. Around 90% of workers have admitted to surfing the Internet during the workday for personal use. Some workers may spend up to 5 hours a day surfing the Internet, inhibiting their productivity, which in turn affects the organization. For example, if a full-time employee gets paid $12 an hour, but spends 5 hours of the workday cyberslacking, they would cost their organization $15,600 a year due to lack of productivity. Not only do employees cost the organization money when they participate in cyberslacking activities, they also put the organization at risk. Using company property to search the web increases the risk of viruses since an employee may visit a site or link that contains a virus. Some websites give hackers the freedom to all of the information in the computer, which may lead to leaked confidential information. Overall, cyberslacking can cost the organization money due to lack of productivity and increase risks of virus exposure.

Although cyberslacking has some disadvantages, it has some advantages that can benefit an organization. Managers who allow their employees to take periodic breaks have seen an increase in employee engagement and worker productivity. When managers allow their employees to take periodic breaks throughout the day have found their employees to be more efficient due to the benefits of quick breaks. When an employee takes a break, they are more focused and refreshed afterward, and will be more productive overall. Even though cyberslacking has been known to decrease productivity and increase the risk of virus exposure, it can contribute to more employee satisfaction and efficiency when it is not abused by employees.

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