WASHINGTON – Time spent looking at cat videos, shopping online and updating Facebook statuses are part of everyday life.
But when it intersects with work life, there’s a problem.
The practice is called cyberloafing. It results in lost productivity and could put companies in legal hot water if workers do something like look at pornography on office computers.
Newswise.com and Kansas State University say a study finds between 60 and 80 percent of time spent on the Internet while at work is cyberloafing.
But companies are having trouble addressing it. Threats of termination and detection mechanisms can work, but may not be enough.
Providing employees with information about how others were punished for computer usage was effective, researchers found, according to Newswise. But that can have other consequences.
“People will feel like Big Brother is watching them, so companies need to be careful when taking those types of action,” said Joseph Ugrin, assistant professor of accounting at Kansas State.
Ultimately, there is room for additional research to explore where the balance is, Ugrin said.
The study also showed a difference between how younger and older employees use the Internet at work. Older people may manage finances while younger people use social networking sites.
Watch this video from WIBW.com for more.
WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @VRobWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)