Facebook, Anyone?By Don Reisinger
Facebook now has more than 901 million active users worldwide. Chances are many (if not all) of your employees use the social network in the office via computer or smartphone at some point during the time when they should be working.
An Eye On Twitter
Twitter might not be as big as Facebook, but according to the latest reports, the social network is growing at a rapid rate. The issue with Twitter is that spam links are often shared on the service. What's worse, its stickiness can be a productivity drain.
E-Commerce Is An Issue
Services like Amazon and eBay are great for shopping at home, but when work has to be done, these can be a real issue for employers, especially during the holiday shopping season. Keep a close eye on e-commerce site usage in the office.
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are a necessity in today's work world, and there's no denying they improve productivity. But, mobile games such as Angry Birds are only going to become more popular and present a potential productivity drain you'll need to watch out for in the coming years.
It might be a good idea to restrict what sort of applications can be downloaded to an employee's iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. The Apple App Store and Android Market offer a host of useful programs, but also contain many more that can cause you all kinds of trouble from a productivity perspective.
Are your workers held back by outdated, insecure, or slow software? Don't let that happen in your office -- keep software up-to-date, and if need be, get rid of programs that don't keep up with the demands of today's fast-paced workplace.
Be judicious with your use of Web filters. Although they can stop folks from accessing inappropriate sites, they can also prompt employees to try to find ways around them. And when that happens, security issues can arise.
Great Password Debacle
The greater number of passwords you require employees to input, the less likely it is that you'll keep systems secure. Over time, employees become fatigued and opt for the same passwords or go with the easiest option you allow. Keep the important stuff password-protected. All else should be left open.
Try booting up a computer from 2005 and performing all of the tasks you do now. Try doing the same with a computer that was purchased in 2009. Like it or not, technology is evolving at an extremely rapid pace. Failing to deliver the latest and greatest hardware to employees hurts productivity.
Remind Them You're Watching
Sure, they might not like it, but guess what? If they know that the IT department realizes what they're up to, they'll be far less likely to engage in risky behavior.