What are your staff doing with your valuable time?

Surfing the net for personal use - an employee perk? Or a serious drain on an employers' resources?

Research shows that whilst some companies are happy to allow their staff 'tea-break time' to browse non-work related websites, others see it as highly detrimental to their business and some have even sacked staff where usage has overstepped the mark.

Statistics show the average employee spends more than an hour and a half surfing the internet for personal use over the course of a week; that is ten days per year and is costing the economy some £10.6bn during that year.*

So what can be done to eliminate the problem? Restricting internet access and putting monitoring in place is not always an option; employers have to be careful where monitoring is concerned and employees generally need internet access to carry out their jobs, so taking it away could be counter-productive.

One way of ensuring those you employ to conduct important tasks within your business are concentrating on the job in hand is to outsource to external providers that are paid on a set fee per project or a time recorded hourly rate, which means they have to get the job done within a set timeframe.

Lynn Watson, Managing Director of Office Assistants, suggests that bringing in outside help rather than employing accounts, payroll and admin staff, will give companies access to a higher level of expertise as well as scrupulous time management.

Lynn says, 'The staff we supply to our clients would probably be out of their price range if employed on a full time or even part time basis, plus our clients are not likely to need assistance throughout the entire month or year, so they only pay for what they need. Additionally, they will usually pay a set fee or hourly rate for the work which means the person doing that work will concentrate on the task in hand and not stray off and surf the internet!'

If your business is suffering because employees are not dedicating their full working day to their jobs, why not consider outsourcing? Buying in services as and when you need them will give you access to a higher level of expertise than you may be able to afford otherwise, and will also guarantee a much better use of your valuable time!

*Source: CBI.Org (June 2008)

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