Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Policy, enforcement may stop employees from wasting time online at work

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers studied cyberloafing -- wasting time at work on the Internet -- and the effects of Internet use policies and punishment on reducing cyberloafing.

Businesses must deal with weary-eyed office workers who are sitting behind computer screens and watching cat videos, shopping online and updating their Facebook statuses.

Related Articles


A Kansas State University researcher studied cyberloafing -- wasting time at work on the Internet -- and the effects of Internet use policies and punishment on reducing cyberloafing.

Joseph Ugrin, assistant professor of accounting at Kansas State University, and John Pearson, associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, found that company policies are not enough to stop workers from wasting time at work and that sanctions with policies must be consistently enforced for policies to be effective.

The study will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Cyberloafing results in lost productivity and could put companies in legal trouble when workers conduct illegal activity or unacceptable behavior like viewing pornography on work computers. Between 60 and 80 percent of people's time on the Internet at work has nothing to do with work.

Although organizations benefit from positive aspects of the Internet like improved communication, some have trouble addressing cyberloafing, Ugrin said. Companies spend time, money and effort trying to monitor computer usage, detect what employees are doing online and write policies for employees on acceptable Internet behavior.

The researchers, who surveyed office workers and university students, found that both older and younger workers find ways to waste time on the Internet -- but in different ways.

"Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook," said Ugrin, who studies behavioral and ethical issues related to accounting and information systems.

Threats of termination and detection mechanisms are effective deterrents against activities such as viewing pornography, managing personal finances and personal shopping, according to the study. However, that may not be enough.

Policies must be enforced to discourage activities like excessive personal emailing and social networking.

"We found that that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior," Ugrin said. "Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care."

Researchers discovered that the only way to change people's attitudes is to provide them with information about other employees who were reprimanded.

But that strategy can have negative consequences in the workplace and can lower morale, Ugrin said.

"People will feel like Big Brother is watching them, so companies need to be careful when taking those types of action," he said.

The study allows questions for further study, Ugrin said.

"We don't want to make everyone at work upset because the corporate office is watching over their employees' shoulders," he said, "but what if workers are wasting all of their time online? Where's the balance?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph C. Ugrin, J. Michael Pearson. The effects of sanctions and stigmas on cyberloafing. Computers in Human Behavior, 2013; 29 (3): 812 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.005

Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Policy, enforcement may stop employees from wasting time online at work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120717.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2013, January 31). Policy, enforcement may stop employees from wasting time online at work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120717.htm
Kansas State University. "Policy, enforcement may stop employees from wasting time online at work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120717.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
States And White House Disagree On Ebola Quarantines

States And White House Disagree On Ebola Quarantines

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Officials in New Jersey and Maine have quarantined Doctors Without Borders nurse Kaci Hickox, a move the White House doesn't seem to support. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Wave of Online Delivery Gains Momentum

New Wave of Online Delivery Gains Momentum

AFP (Oct. 29, 2014) With start-ups like Postmates offering quick delivery of meals, groceries and other items through a smartphone app, the online world is delivering again. Duration: 01:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins