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Sensational Headline Only

Monday, August 10, 2009 by Slaughter Development

A recent press release carries the title: “Bosses Beware: Employees Watching Videos Online on the Company’s Dime.” The contents of the document, however, have nothing to do with supervisors, employees and productivity.

Phrases like “Bosses Beware” and “on the companies dime” set off all kinds of warning bells at Slaughter Development as we braced ourselves for a press release that accuses employees of goofing off at work and offering suggestions for bosses to clamp down on workers. Instead, the document offers new data on how people watch web video. Turns out that internet viewing hours are spread throughout the traditional work day and not clustered around the same period as primetime television.

It’s tempting to chide the authors of the press release for selecting a misleading title. However, it’s much more important to consciously acknowledge what this phrasing tells us about our common perspective on work. The words “bosses beware” imply that supervisors are expected to be fearful and distrustful of their employees. The old expression “on the company dime” characterizes all employee time and activity at work as the property of their employer. This is not language that will inspire employees to feel valued at work.

The Methodology Blog has previously noted that great workers surf on the job. Efforts to try and control what people do at their desk are not only ineffective, they belittle workers and actually reduce overall productivity. Instead, we should study companies like Netflix who actually aim to give employees more freedom as the organization grows.

Bosses should not be afraid if and when their employees check YouTube at work. In turn, employees should not be afraid to enjoy the company’s resources from time to time. Work is about opportunity, not control. Contact Slaughter Development to learn more.

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Facebook and Workplace Frustration - Social networking websites like Facebook enable people to communicate easily with friends, family and colleagues. They can also document feelings of anger and resentment with work. Read on »
Job Satisfaction Plummets - Here’s a double whammy for the working professional. You hate your job and want to quit, but the economy is bad so you’re afraid to leave. Read on »
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