In Part 1 of the productivity series we discussed how computer outages and down time affect employees’ productivity. Today, I’d like to touch upon a slightly more controversial subject – work habits. Work habits may be hard to change, but we can certainly guide our employees and help them improve their work habits for productivity’s sake.
We all know Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. But what about Cyber Monday, the first workday after the Thanksgiving holiday? Why is it called Cyber Monday? Because of all the internet shopping that takes place that day. According to CNN Money, Cyber Monday sales were up 30% in 2012 compared to 2011. Which brings me to my point. If our employees are taking advantage of Cyber Monday, who’s doing their job? That’s just part of the issue. There are other, much more troublesome activities that some individuals engage in while at their work computers. Such activities at the very minimum expose computers to computer viruses and malware and at worse, bring lawsuits. I have seen employees listen to their favorite radio station on their PC at work. What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, if the internet connection is not that fast to begin with, and we have couple of employees streaming audio or video to their work computer, chances are the Internet connection with slow down to a crawl and we will not be able to conduct business-related activities such as receiving or sending business-related email, accessing web sites in timely manner, etc.
So how do we help our employees be more productive and use the company-provided equipment for its intended purposes? Technology to the rescue. We may implement Content Filtering. Content filtering is a function performed by a device that resides between the Internet router and the internal network. It can be configured to allow or prevent certain types of Internet activities (e.g. access to shopping sites, access to adult content sites, access to malicious sites, access to video streaming sites, etc.). With content filtering in place we can significantly reduce the risk of infecting the company’s computers with viruses as well as improve the performance of both computer and human resources.