Thieves Lurking in the Workplace

A survey from CareerBuilder reveals smartphones, chatty co-workers and social media distract employees from doing actual work.

When asked to name the biggest productivity thieves in the workplace, employers cited the following:

  • Cell phones/texting – 52%;
  • The Internet – 44%;
  • Gossip – 37%;
  • Social media -36%;
  • Email – 31%;
  • Co-workers dropping by – 27%;
  • Meetings – 26%;
  • Smoke breaks/snack breaks – 27%;
  • Noisy co-workers – 17%; and
  • Sitting in a cubicle – 10%.

Employers said productivity thieves can lead to negative consequences for their organizations, including:

  • Compromised quality of work – 45%;
  • Lower morale because other workers have to pick up the slack – 30%;
  • Negative impact of boss/employee relationship – 25%;
  • Missed deadlines – 24%; and
  • Loss in revenue – 21%.

Nearly three in four employers (74%) have taken at least one step to mitigate productivity thieves, such as blocking certain Internet sites (33%) and banning personal calls/cell phone use (23%).

Other efforts to mitigate productivity thieves include:

  • Scheduled lunch and break times – 21%;
  • Monitor emails and Internet use – 21%;
  • Limit meetings – 16%;
  • Allow people to telecommute – 13%; and
  • Have an open space layout instead of cubicles – 12%.
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