Electronic Temptations

Category: Newsletters Published on Jul 21 2016



The temptation of social media, internet, and texting limits the productivity of some people. How can I keep people centered and concentrating on their work and not their personal matters?


Marty, PA



Keeping people centered on their work responsibilities is not a new issue. It has merely been compounded by the electronic gadgets that make it all too easy to stay in touch all the time.


Therefore, from the human resources side of the equation, very little has changed. It all starts with a shared understanding of expectations and consistency in applying those standards.


Set some basic ground rules on what is permitted and what is not. For example, you may check personal email only while you are at lunch. Or, business equipment may not be used for accessing social media. Whatever the expectations, just make sure that they are:

 - Realistic

 - Enforceable

 - In alignment with company policy


Then share these ground rules with your staff. Make sure that they understand that everyone, including you, will be held to these rules. Also explain why the rules are necessary. If you have any room for adjusting them, ask for staff feedback.


Also share with them the consequences of breaking the rules - and there must be consequences. If they can make Facebook posts during work hours and nothing happens, why should they stop?


From the electronics side of the equation, you have many options. You can prohibit cell phones in the office by requiring employees to check them when they arrive. You can block access to certain websites from the company computers. You can also set up an electronic tracker for all employees email and internet activities.


Again, if you decide to use any of these approaches, tell your employees in advance and share with them why.


If it is only one or two people you have a problem with, I personally prefer to address the situation one on one with those people. However, if it’s a more widespread problem, try some of the ideas above.


Share your experiences, including what has worked and what hasn’t on our Facebook page. (Please, do this at home if work rules prohibit it at work!)


Good Luck!