Before I begin I would like to make the following statement: I completely support the employers to choose which websites and activities are banned within the work place and I believe that as an employee of said workplace, you should adhere to these guidelines. This being said, the rules don’t apply to me, so leave me alone while I have a little rant.
My colleague who sits opposite me fields calls from his on-again off-again girlfriend several times a day, is nagged by her for a whole bunch of unimportant stuff, hangs up and complains to me. This equates to, approximately, an hour to an hour and a half of his day, every day. Not only this, but the same colleague has several lunch’s, spends significant time singing to himself and generally being unproductive.
Another colleague of mine is a heavy caffeine addict. She makes several cups a day, coupled this with numerous visits to Starbucks, plus the additional time spent at the thermos collecting hot water and chatting. She also has a boyfriend who likes to phone a few times a day. I know this, because when I get coffee she is always there and tells me so.
I raise these two points not as issues, but I think they illustrate that there are only so many hours that an employee can be productive. I think if you spend 10 – 12 hours a day in your office space working, there come periods in your day that to maintain your productivity, and sanity, you just need a break.
Until three weeks ago I would occasionally log on to Facebook and check messages once a day, which usually takes around 10 minutes, I’m not a very popular, and I’d do this once a day. Also, I may log on to MSN via meebo.com once or twice a day to arrange my evening with my girlfriend/friends and/or catch up with a few friends from back hom.
Now thanks to my good friends down at MimeSweeper I no longer have either. You see, as a business decision my company has decided to block these websites due to the fact that it’s a time wasting sites and it promotes a lack of productivity.
I tend to think the fact that during my 10 – 12 hours a day, the fact my mind wanders for an hour a day is pretty insignificant, especially since I don’t even break for lunch. Is it impossible to fathom that these websites are a pretty minor distraction in the work place and that letting staff send the occasional message to plan their weekend/evening, rather then letting them worry about it, could actually be more productive?