Let’s Fool Around a Little… Is Workplace Downtime Really a Productivity Killer?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-money-time-concept-image-image22104388Bob Hochmuth recently wrote a couple of posts about the issues with employees wasting time and using the internet while at work. Although a breach in your company’s internet security can be a real threat,  I have to disagree with Bob, I think some time to use the internet for entertainment actually benefits the bottom line. What about esprit de corps?

While it is important to have impenetrable network security standards, surfing the web at work isn’t always as bad as it seems.

In an age where the internet is a necessity and many jobs have gone digital, it is hard to avoid some surfing time here and there but, should employees be allowed to? Without having to sneak in a YouTube video, or level of Candy Crush?  A relaxed work environment fosters creativity and promotes a more comfortable atmosphere where employees don’t have to feel as though they are tied to a schedule or tethered to tasks that may cause them to grow disinterested. A little time to decompress will prevent burnout and mounting distraction.

There are plenty of wildly successful, productive and innovative companies that have a less traditional structure. In an article on  SmallBusiness.Chron.Com states, “A relaxed workplace can benefit your small business by enhancing job satisfaction and reducing stress. Stress can cause early burnout, health problems, inability to focus and workplace conflicts.” They go on to say that,   “Allowing employees to “cyberloaf” — spend time surfing the Internet — seems to benefit employees too by refreshing their minds.” I concur. Sometimes when you are working on one thing intensely for a long period of time, you need to visually step away for a moment. Those five minutes the employee might be surfing the web could inspire something amazing!

When I think of businesses that seem like awesome places to work (aside, of course, from SLPowers!) , I think of places like GoogleZapposMoz.  What do they have in common? FUN! Workplace culture becomes part of their brand.

According to the Forbes.com list, the Best Companies to Work For has Google at the top (for the fourth time) and Zappos lands at 31. As reported by CNNMoney.com, Google’s campus includes “100,000 hours of subsidized massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.” Google must be doing something right!

One way to lighten the mood and help boost morale is music. Music is a big part of having good office energy and it makes it a lot easier to listen to music when you can stream from the internet.  Sites like Pandora or programs like Spotify wouldn’t function without an internet connection, and surely they aren’t causing any harm.  An interesting article on OfficeVibe.com  3 Ways Music Can Improve Your Productivity backs up this point. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Vivaldi or SBTRKT or Justin Bieber (though your co-worker may judge you), as long as what you listen to makes you happy. Because when you are happy, you are not only naturally more productive, but, well, you just enjoy life more.” Just look at all the cool companies that got on the Harlem Shake train this year, posting fun videos of the cohesive workplace culture. The work family that plays together, stays together–right?

This, of course, is not to say that SLPowers doesn’t have creative energy or outlets to express it. It’s a wonderful atmosphere. We have different social nights including Guitar Night, where they guys get together and rock.  We have the Beer Garden, and Tech on Tap, and invite our customers, clients and friends to join us in relaxing and socializing. We have a great company culture here, which should include “cyberloafing” here and there.

What is your dream job atmosphere? Do you prefer a strict program or enjoy a bit of slack?

Here is a list that IncomeDiary.com put together of the Top 20 Most Awesome Company Offices –which all look pretty cool! Each one on the list has something special, unique and fun to offer their employees.


Categories: Data Security, Employee Security Training, Internet Security

Tags: , ,

1 reply

  1. I little cyber loafing is a much healthier smoke break 🙂

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