Colin Hammer, after arranging an independent review, has found that many of his employees have been avoiding work and other responsibilities by searching the Internet for non-work related amusements. This act is known as cyber slacking and it is said to cost companies billions of dollars each year and often results in managers blocking or limiting access to certain websites. Concerned for productivity, this report will outline the current usage and array of sites potentially being used by the Hammer Wines employees. The sites include those for entertainment or work purposes, and restrictions based on these findings should be implemented. These restrictions must be forever changing and expanding, as each website has a different effect on the varying departments its respective employees. These modifications will also affect the productivity of Hammer Wines and will be discussed in the report by making an “internet use” policy. Findings
Department Spending Most Time on the Internet
Cyberslacking is a prominent occurrence amongst the Hammer Wines employees. However, of all employees, the Receptionists spent the longest time on the Internet throughout the one-week trial (see figure 1.0 below). This may or may not be detrimental to Hammer Wines. Often, receptionists complete their work before their set time, meaning that if they’re browsing the Internet, still answering their phone and have completed required work, productivity will remain normal. Studies also show productivity can increase when employees are less restricted with the Internet. This productivity can swing both ways. Negative productivity will be detrimental to Hammer Wines if the receptionist fails to multitask and therefore ineffectively completes required jobs.
Internet Productivity and Cyberslacking
From the array of websites (see figure 1.1 below) it is difficult to tell if Cyberslacking is present at Hammer Wines. This is because many websites, such as facebook.com and twitter.com, are huge social marketing websites, but can also used as a cost effective methods for company awareness and advertising. These sites, however, can also be misused for personal use. Unless the employee is caught directly misusing these sites, it is hard to tell weather they are cyberslacking or not.
Facebook.com is one example of Cyberslacking. It is Hammer Wines’ second most visited Internet site, being used by Sales and Marketing, Reception, Manufacturing and Distribution, Human Resources @ Training and IT Services. Sales and Marketing are the only employees likely to need the site for work purposes. For all other departments, employees must use Facebook.com for personal interests. Websites, including deals.com are often used for both work and leisure. Reception, Human Resources @ Training, Manufacturing and Distribution, Sales and Marketing are all using this site. Assumptions cannot be made in relation to website use. Human Resources @ Training, Manufacturing and Distributing, and Sales and Marketing departments all have valid work-related grounds to use Deals.com, as it is great for promotional and comparative purposes.
IT Services were found to be using Games.com. A total of 120 minutes was recorded throughout the week. This is a website purely dedicated to fun and games. This is the seventh most used website recorded. Although it is only a small fraction of the Internet usage, it is clear that productivity has decreased in the IT department, and through the given statistics, Cyberslacking is present. Similarly, Tatts.com was used by the Sales and Marketing department, for up to 80 minutes throughout the recorded week. Tatts.com is a betting website and has nothing to do with the Sales and Marketing of Hammer Wines. However, productivity can be increased in the workplace, with employees having some freedom on the Internet. The use of social media and other personal websites can release stress and tension, thus not wholly being to the determent of Hammer Wines. Conclusion
Hammer Wines has a vast array of websites being used by employees for both personal and work use. Cyberslacking is present amongst all employees, with websites aimed at socialization and productivity which both highly used. This, however, is hard to monitor as some sites – such as Facebook.com or Deals.com – are used in the companies Sales and Marketing department, but also used in recreational down time by most, if not all, other departments. It is important for Hammer Wines to implement a strategy to monitor all Internet usage. Receptionist work productivity remained high in correlation to time spent on internet, however, it was obvious the Cyberslacking was overruling the IT department, as they spent 120 hours over the duration of the week on a games and entertainment website. Solution
Internet Use Policy
Permanently blocking all Internet sites at Hammer Wines could result in a drop in productivity. Alternatively, a system that allows employees to have an allocated time throughout the day, to specifically visit sites such as Facebook.com and Twitter.com will allow staff members to have high productivity through compromise and strategy. One example of strategic blocking is unblocking all websites for 15 minutes every 3 hours, enabling employees to use restricted sites that coincide with structured break times (lunch, snack and end-of-day).
A second option for Hammer Wines is to block all websites, only allowing those who hold a position of authority (manager) or employee that has spoken to someone in a position of authority, to get a specific code to access a blocked website. This code then unblocks all sites and remains unblocked until the page is exited. This could be implemented when departments wish to use sites such as Facebook.com for marketing or promotional purposes.