10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Cyberloafing

Cyberloafing is the practice of using the internet for personal interests during work hours. A recent study from Massey University shows that employees spend 50% of their work time on the internet. This has significant impact on the worker’s performance. Business managers and researchers have tried to answer one pertinent question: is cyberloafing good or bad for business? The answer to this questions can be either of yes or no as we shall learn forthwith.

Advantages of cyberloafing

Completely restricting internet use during hours is not the best solution to cyberloafing. In fact, internet access can be beneficial to the employee and the organization in various ways. For example, sending a message to a friend inviting them for an evening party is not a bad thing. It could also be a good idea to pay personal bills through office internet before you forget. Generally, the pros of cyberloafing may include:

1) Promoting flexibility in the workplace

2) Taking a break from routine duties

3) Relieving work pressure

4) Achieving work-family balance

5) Improving employees’ morale and motivation

6) Retention of valuable talent

7) Encouraging innovation and creativity

8) Improved work efficiency and personal growth

9) Reduces boredom

10) Building trust between employees and management

Disadvantages of Cyberloafing

Cyberloafers can use the internet for entertainment and personal use; but if they are not properly regulated, they can cause negative consequences for the company. The internet can be a gateway to distraction at the workplace because it opens up several opportunities for employees to swerve from their formal tasks. We provide a list of costs and cons of cyberloafing below:

1) Loss of productivity

2) Security risks and legal risks

3) Loss of network bandwidth

4) Waste of time

5) Exposure to computer viruses and identity theft

6) Tarnishing the company’s image

7) It may cause conflicts in the workplace

8) Waste of company resources

9) Distracts employees from focusing on customer requests

10) It can increase costs for the organization e.g. possible costs of dealing with lost time and data theft.

Indeed, Cyberloafing can be good or bad, depending on how it is utilized. It all boils down to the right balance to minimize risks and maximize benefits. Employers may allow employees to use internet for personal purposes at work in order to motivate them, but employees misuse that chance and fail to meet the task outcomes and standards. Most importantly, the employer and employees should discuss about the issue and identify the internet use policies to guide employees’ behavior.

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