In a recent Wasting Time At Work Survey, Salary.com reported that 89% of employees admitted to wasting time at work every day, with some admitting they waste at least HALF of their 8-hour workday on non-work-related tasks. According to the research firm YouGov, 20% of employees are late to their jobs at least ONCE A WEEK. A study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers found the average user checks their phone nearly 150 times per day. Add this all up and I’m amazed anyone gets ANYTHING done.
While no one would expect an employee to work non-stop without any breaks, I know that most CEOs would be disgusted by the enormous amount of time employees are now frittering away during paid work hours to indulge in online shopping, posting to Facebook, texting their friends, etc. The list is LONG of easy distractions in the digital world we live in. Even 30 minutes of this wasted activity per day adds up to 2.5 hours a week and 130 hours a year; and 30 minutes is easy to waste in 5- and 10-minute increments.
When employees indulge in any personal activities or “goofing off” and are not on their game, every minute they are being paid to produce is stealing from your organization. They wouldn’t think they are, but consider this: What client of yours would allow you to BILL THEM for 130 hours of work when no work was done? Not many. In short order, you’d be labeled a crook and most likely landed with a lawsuit. Or how about this: Would any one of your employees volunteer to work 130 extra free hours a week? That would land YOU in jail.
Moreover, employees using company-owned devices, Internet and e-mail to conduct personal business and visit non-work-related sites opens YOU to security risks. Over 600,000 Facebook pages are hacked every day. If one of your employees is accessing these sites and downloading files of any kind, they are putting your organization at risk for inviting a hacker or nasty virus. So why do so many employers allow this behavior?
For starters, most don’t even know it’s going on – or at least the extent to which it’s going on. So the first step in correcting this is letting your employees know that you’ll be monitoring their workstations and activities while at work. Second, you need to put in place a good monitoring software that will reveal what web sites your employees are accessing and for how long. That will eliminate a lot of wasted time because they know you’ll be watching. Of course, that may not stop them from using their smartphone to conduct the same time-wasting activities, which is where management, by walking around, comes into play. From our perspective, the best way to monitor your employees is via DNS filtering on your domain network.
A question I often get is “Why do I need to be on a managed IT plan? Can’t I just pay you to come out and fix things when they’re broken?” While that’s a legitimate question if we were talking about your washing machine or car, that’s definitely NOT the right approach to a critical and dynamic IT system that your company depends on; you DEFINITELY don’t want to wait until something “breaks” before you try and fix a problem. One virus or hacker attack or one slip-up can cause permanent data loss, extended downtime, a violation of data-breach laws, bad PR, loss of customers and sales, and a host of other expensive problems.
Additionally, under a “break-fix” model, there is a fundamental conflict of interests between you and your IT firm. The IT services company has no incentive to stabilize your computer network or to resolve problems quickly because they are getting paid by the hour; therefore the risk of unforeseen circumstances, scope creep, learning-curve inefficiencies and outright incompetence are all shifted to YOU, the customer. Essentially, the more problems you have, the more they profit, which is precisely what you DON’T want.
Under this model, the IT consultant can take the liberty of assigning a junior (lower-paid) technician to work on your problem who may take two to three times longer to resolve an issue than a more senior (and more expensive) technician may have taken to resolve it. There is no incentive to properly manage the time of that technician or their efficiency, and there is every reason for them to prolong the project and to find MORE problems than solutions. Of course, if they’re ethical and want to keep you as a client, they should be doing everything possible to resolve your problems quickly and efficiently; however, that’s akin to putting a German shepherd in charge of watching over the ham sandwiches. Not a good idea.
Second, it creates a management problem for you, the customer, who now has to keep track of the hours they’ve worked to make sure you aren’t getting overbilled; and since you often have no way of really knowing if they’ve worked the hours they say they have, it creates a situation where you really, truly need to be able to trust they are being 100% ethical and honest AND tracking THEIR hours properly (not all do). And finally, it makes budgeting for IT projects and expenses a nightmare since your IT bill may be zero one month and thousands the next.
Plus, IT systems NEED regular monitoring and maintenance to protect against the 80,000+ brand-new malware attacks that are released every day, not to mention accidental hiccups in data backup, employee error, hardware failure, sabotage from disgruntled employees, etc. The list is long. So if keeping your IT systems up and running is important to you – as is keeping your network secure from data loss and cybercriminals – then the ONLY option you should choose is a “managed services” plan from a competent, trustworthy and reliable IT services firm.