If I had a boss, I would have been fired last week!
Like most employers, we have an Internet use policy to limit personal use of the Internet during working hours. Like most “employees” I regularly ignore that policy by checking ESPN (fantasy football), CNN, MSN, and wherever those links lead me on any given day. What I didn’t realize, until this last week, was how much time is actually wasted on the Internet in each workday when you don’t pay attention. In my case – (3) hours in one day! Gone. Wasted.
What was I doing for three hours you might ask? Coming up with a list of bands that would be funny to see on the same ticket. A (very small) sample:
Blind Melon/Def Lepard
Fine Young Cannibals/Missing Persons
Garbage/A Flock of Seagulls
Blue Oyster Cult/Pearl Jam
10000 Maniacs/Crowded House
Ramones/Ugly Kid Joe(y)
Michael Jackson/New Kids on the Block/Temptations
Red Hot Chili Peppers/Flaming Lips
Cheap Trick/50 Cent
John Lee Hooker/Johnny Cash
Talking Heads/Men Without Hats
You get the point. No one wants to be the “bad guy” by looking over employees’ shoulders to make sure they are being productive, but there is a balance. Sometimes it might help to explain how small increments of personal time on the Internet can (1) add up, and (2) really affect productivity/profitability. Sometimes employers simply have to limit employee access to non-work-related sites. In my case, I’m going to write myself up and put the warning in my personnel file. I’m also going to try to set a better example! Maybe I could have solved all of California’s employment problems in that (3) hours: Yes/Uh Huh/No Doubt.