With all the technological advances, Cyberloafing has become more common, and as a result, many business owners are worried about it. It is getting easier and easier to engage in virtual work teams, flexible work arrangements, and spend time in leisure on electronic devices.
We all can relate to drifting online to other social media accounts like Instagram Reels and getting lost in the Google search or even watching a few endless Youtube videos, but what you don't realize is this behavior is known as Cyberloafing.
Why You Should Care About Cyberloafing
The first question to consider is how much of an impact cyberloafing is having on your business. Then, is it possible to measure the impact on the performance and productivity of your workforce or team?
It is estimated to range from three hours a week to as much as 2.5 hours per day. Researching Cyberloafing noted boredom or lack of interest in their work. And in other cases, it was procrastinating or avoiding complex tasks.
Many individuals are unaware that they are committing Cyberloafing at work. However, even back in the late 1990s, Cyberloafing was mentioned as the act of employees using the Internet for personal reasons during work hours.
Based on the research ResearchGate, A survey of 3,200 Americans pegs their average loss per day due to non-work-related online activity at over two hours and, on the high side, costs bosses $4,500 annually per employee. Additionally, according to Newswise, 60 to 80% of employees' online time at work is unrelated to their jobs.
Cyberloafing can lead to a drop in productivity and enable information systems to be hacked and introduce spyware, malware, and other types of viruses.
How do you manage the negative impact of Cyberloafing?
The workplace is not a one-size-fits-all kind of place. What makes employees happy in one company may not make them happy in another. It is why it's essential to be aware of what motivates your employees or team and makes them unhappy. To improve Cyberloafing, you need to find the root of the problem and resolve it.
According to the October 2021 CNBC | Momentive Workforce Happiness Index, 39% of workers in the US admit they're coasting.
Take notice if your team is taking every opportunity to waste time online rather than focusing on creativity that uses their skills and generates value. When people struggle with online habits, ask how to improve their productivity.
It could be a mental or emotional issue you need to address or an external factor such as family/work-related stress. Once you've identified the cause, you can start taking steps toward fixing it and becoming more productive.
Building a great team with the understanding that people tend to get lost with technology allows room for discussion on Cyberloafing. Cyberloafing may have become more common, but it does not have to be a constant in your business! Allow some flexibility when exploring technology and ask your employees how you can help them stay on track when they find themselves drifting.