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Sunday, October 23, 2011


Cyberslacking refers to staff who use their work internet access for personal reasons while maintaining the appearance of working. This can include surfing non-work-related Internet sites, online shopping, instant messaging and using social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  That is also known as goldbricking, "Buca-ing" cyberloafing or cyberbludging, and which some say, can lead to inefficiency. 

The term itself first entered the public eye in the late nineties, notably in a Newsweek article of November 1999, which highlighted research claiming that nearly a third of US workers' time on the Internet was devoted to non-work related activities. At the end of 2003, it was estimated that cyberslacking cost the US economy 250 billion dollars in lost wage expenses.

Office workers from the People's Republic of China are considered by some to cyberslack the most internationally. Some employees do two non-work activities at once, a practice known as multishirking. Instances of cyberslacking have increased markedly since broadband Internet connections became commonplace in workplaces. Before that the slow speed of dial-up connections meant that the practice was rarely worthwhile. Many firms employ surveillance software to track employees' Internet activity in an effort to limit liability and improve productivity. Other methods used to reduce cyberslacking include installation of proxy servers to prevent programs from accessing resources like Internet Relay Chat, AOL Instant Messenger, or some online gambling services, strict disciplinary measures for employees found cyberslacking, and carrot and stick measures like providing free or subsidized Internet access for employees outside of working hours.

Corporate concern about cyberslacking is not always confined to time-wasting. Many large firms have had to accept legal liability when employees have searched for pornography or other inappropriate material on office computers. This has led to the formation of a whole new multi-million dollar industry known as Employee Internet Management (EIM), which encourages companies to invest in software for monitoring or restricting personal Internet use.

A study from DNS-resolution service OpenDNS, "2010 Report on Web Content Filtering and Phishing" details just what sites companies were most likely to block last year, be it social networking websites or sites that have a reputation for fostering procrastination.

Ten most blocked websites by companies:

10. eBay.com -- 1.6 Percent
  9.  Meebo.com -- 1.6 Percent
  8. Ad.Yieldmanager.com -- 1.8 Percent
  7. Orkut.com -- 2.1 Percent
  6. Hotmail.com -- 2.1 Percent
  5. Twitter.com -- 4.2 Percent
  4. Ad.Doubleclick.net -- 5.7 Percent
  3. YouTube.com -- 11.9 Percent
  2. MySpace.com -- 13 Percent
  1. Facebook.com -- 23 Percent

While alot of companies find it detrimental to work productivity, new researches are showing opposite results on the cyberslackers - being a stress reliever or source of personal gratification.

Source(s):  wikipedia, macmillandictionary.com, blogtactic.com, psychologytoday.com

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