When technology gets in the way of office productivity

The Internet is both the joy and the curse of CIOs: The joy because the enterprise can do so much with it, and the curse because employees do so much with it — download porn, watch the World Cup, email family …

One alternative is to lock down devices so staff can’t access social media and other sites; another is install key loggers to record who is going where so administrators can take them aside for a reminder about corporate policy.

But this blog on reminds that tight management can backfire by creating poor staff morale.

A bit of common sense here is what’s needed: If there’s no evidence that individuals are spending large amounts of time — say, a half hour out of every hour — doing non-work cruising, then manaegment should turn a blind eye to what’s going on.

Remember, too, that as an increasing number of staff work out of the office this is going to be more difficult to police.

Staff to need to be regularly reminded of their obligation not to abuse their free and corporately-paid for Internet access. That also means urging them to turn off notification on personal mobile devices, email and social media accounts.

One suggestion in the column:  Someone who needs to concentrate on work for 20 minutes could wear a red baseball cap, signaling co-workers not to bother them with chats, texts or emails during that time.

There are ways to ensure technology doesn’t hurt productivity. Be imaginative.




Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

ITW in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

More Best of The Web