Yet Another Study Misunderstands How People Work

from the treat-your-employees-like-slaves! dept

It seems to happen at least every other month. Some “security” company comes out with a study making wild claims about just how much time employees are wasting at work… and, of course, announces that they have some sort of solution to lock down their email/phone/internet access to make sure that they’re all work, all the time. The latest is some security company positively screaming that (oh my!) people use email for personal reasons while at work. We’ve gone over this before, but it seems like it’s worth mentioning again. First off, these are the same companies that also expect employees to be “on call” all the time, willing to work from home or on the go answering emails on their Blackberries and phone calls on their mobile phones. Second, studies have shown that employees tend to be less productive if they’re forced to be working all of the time, rather than able to take small breaks at opportune times. Third, employees who are constantly monitored and spied upon by their employers tend to be less productive as well. Finally, employees who are allowed to do some personal stuff at work tend to more than make it up by doing work from home and tend to stay at work longer since they don’t need to rush out of the office to take care of personal stuff. These findings have been shown over and over and over again. However, these security companies ignore all of that, come out with some scare-mongering report and try to sell some useless tool that makes the problem worse, not better. Obviously, there are some people who abuse the ability to do personal things at work — but that should be noticed in the quality/quantity of the work that they do.

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