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The workday begins. Your employees enter the office. They check email, answer messages, shift files. Then they take a quick peek at the news. Then they jump over to YouTube for a hilarious two-minute video. Next it’s a sneak peek at the latest iPhone on TechCrunch, followed by the holy trinity of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

With smartphones at arm’s reach and the internet loaded with diversions, it’s almost inevitable that your staff will get pulled into a time-wasting vortex.

But just how much time are we talking about?

As it turns out, businesses are losing major productivity hours. According to data gathered by Salary.com, 89 percent of employees waste time during the workday. Here are a few numbers from the data sure to make your head spin:

- 31 percent of employees waste 30 minutes a day.
- 31 percent waste one hour.
- 16 percent waste two hours.
- 4 percent waste four or more hours.

Essentially, employers are paying for full-time work but only getting part-time results, which costs them a fortune in non-productive work time.

Getting a Handle on Workplace Interference

With so much paid employee time wasted every day, what can managers do to cut down on workplace distractions and disturbances? Here are three easy actions to take today:

1. Set Up Internet Filters

According to IDC research, two-thirds of large companies use internet filters, and for good reason. Internet filtration solutions not only block access to unrelated websites, but also cut back on unnecessary bandwidth usage. By blocking access to popular pastimes like Farmville, Candy Crush, and streaming movies, companies can minimize employee disturbances, reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, and protect against external security threats.

2. Utilize Productivity-Measuring Tools

Many companies have started to adopt productivity-monitoring services. These solutions give employers the tools they need to monitor, record, and analyze employee activity during the workday. These solutions also present administrators with both granular breakdowns and general overviews of employee productivity trends, helping them identify issues before they grow out of hand. The result? Long-term revenue savings and increased employee output.

3. Encourage More Face Time and Less FaceTime

With email, chat, and conference channels at the ready, people rarely talk face-to-face with coworkers these days. According to Al Crispo, a retired Purdue University professor, this breakdown of communication leads to a degradation of leadership and communication skills that will eventually harm the economy at large. Encourage employees to speak to one another in person rather than sending out memos or shooting off texts to get their questions answered.

By implementing these three simple ideas, employers can transform their workplaces and the overall attitude among their workers. We live and work in a distracting world. Make it easier for your employees to succeed, and you’ll be surprised at how much they can truly achieve.

Isaac Kohen is the founder and CEO of Teramind, an employee monitoring and insider threat prevention platform. He can be reached at ikohen@teramind.co.



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