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Sensational Headlines About Employee Productivity

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A press release carried the title: “Bosses Beware: Employees Watching Videos Online on the Company’s Dime.” The contents of the document, however, had nothing to do with supervisors, employees and productivity.

Phrases like “Bosses Beware” and “on the companies dime” set off all kinds of warning bells at AccelaWork as we read a press release that had accused employees of goofing off at work and offering suggestions for bosses to clamp down on workers. Instead, the document offered new data on how people watch web videos. Turns out that internet viewing hours are spread throughout the traditional work day and not clustered around the same period as prime-time television.

It was tempting to chide the authors of the press release for selecting a misleading title. However, it was much more important to consciously acknowledge what this phrasing told us about our common perspective on work. The words “bosses beware” implied that supervisors are expected to be fearful and distrustful of their employees. The old expression “on the company dime” characterizes all employee time and activity at work as the property of their employer. This is not language that will inspire employees to feel valued at work.

frustrated about employee productivity

© Flickr user jazbeck

We have previously spoken out about employee productivity and surfing the web while on the job. Efforts to try and control what people do at their desk are not only ineffective, they belittle workers and actually reduce overall productivity. Instead, we should study companies like Netflix who actually aims to give employees more freedom thanks to employee satisfaction as the organization grows.

Bosses should not be afraid if and when their employees check YouTube at work. In turn, employees should not be afraid to enjoy the company’s resources from time to time. Work is about opportunity, not control. Contact our business consultants to learn more.

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