Bored employees can be a problem - Business Works
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Bored employees can be a problem

Adi Gaskell I ’ve spoken a few times in defence of having social media access at work in the past few weeks. Probably the main argument against allowing staff access to social media is that they will waste a lot of time playing around on Facebook et al. In other words they’ll use social media to misbehave.

Some new research suggests that rather than banning social media, the answer to this problem may simply be to make their work life more interesting.

The traditional view on poor workplace behaviour is that it falls into five main types:

  • Abuse against others
  • Production defiance
  • Sabotage
  • Withdrawl
  • Theft

This research, however, suggests a 6th type of counterproductive work behaviour (CWB): horseplay. The research team found that there was strong correlation between being bored at work and engaging in one of the CWB mentioned above.

This shouldn’t really be news to managers. After all, I’m sure we all have experience from our school days of either ourselves or a classmate horsing around when they were bored. The same principle applies to our adult working lives.

So if you want to make your employees as productive as possible, the key is to make their work lives as interesting as possible.

Adi Gaskell is a manager at Oil and Gas IQ and a management writer for Professional Manager magazine.

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