- Most workers spend at least four work hours each week, or 26 days a year, on websites unrelated to work, according to a new Spiceworks survey, Data snapshot: How web filtering affects workplace security and productivity. Based on a median U.S. salary of $45,812, employers are paying workers $4,500 a year for that time, survey results show.
- When access to sites is restricted, those numbers fall. Big companies are more likely than small or midsize businesses to restrict access to, among other things, social media channels, video and music streaming sites and personal email. According to Spiceworks, personal emails and social media account for many security breaches.
- "Regardless of the mechanism employed, if there’s one takeaway from this report, it should be that like all security solutions, web filtering to restrict access to certain sites and services isn’t a cure-all," wrote Peter Tsai, Spiceworks' senior technology analyst. "Instead, these technologies are only one part in a layered security strategy. And without web-encrypting enforcement, security and productivity will be problems for employers."
Another survey, released last year by OfficeTeam, paints an even grimmer picture: employees may be spending even more time on social media on their personal mobile devices.
Employers certainly need to prioritize cybersecurity and train employees — who account for a staggering number of breaches — on proper web practices. But when employees are using their own devices and their own networks, employers' main focus becomes productivity.
Employees are well aware that they're frequently distracted at work, according to one study, but say they lack good time-management skills. If workers are struggling to prioritize work, or balance it with demands from their personal lives, time-management training may help boost productivity.