Once, when he was away on vacation, one of his clients needed me to run a report. I turned it around in one day. When Norm returned, he was upset: “I tell them it takes a week! What can I do now that they know it can be finished in 24 hours!”
I left the company after a short time (can you wonder why?), so I don’t know what happened to Norm.
The issue is: Many organizations have a Norm or Norma or two. In today’s competitive economy, time wasting may be less overt, but it’s still happening.
Perhaps you’ve seen one of the many recent studies stating that organizations are losing millions to employees Twittering or Facebooking the day away.
These studies bother me for two reasons:
- They seem to measure only “costs” or “wasted time,” not the benefits gained from employees’ presence on social networks.
- They fail to account for the time the employer gains while the employee checks email at home, answers mobile phone calls at all hours, etc.
As my example shows, people who want to waste time will find ways to do so, whether they’re chatting on the phone all day, taking endless smoke breaks, playing computer solitaire, or excessively updating their Facebook status.
This is a people-management problem, not a social media problem.