Facebook – The Boss’ nightmare

Time is money. Time well spent can bring prosperity. Although, there is an old adage that goes - work with no play makes Jack a dull boy, people have found a way of wasting time professionally. 

Time is money. Time well spent can bring prosperity. Although, there is an old adage that goes - work with no play makes Jack a dull boy, people have found a way of wasting time professionally. 

This viral infection by the name of FaceBook that is so hard to avoid has become the best time waster in working places and even in schools.

Facebook is advertised as a social utility that connects people with friends and others who “work, study and live around them” - although many seem to be doing less work.

People love to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends. However, it seems to be designed in a way that it draws you in and keeps you hooked as time flies.

Thasian kwizera runs an advertising firm in Kigali and admits that Facebook is turning out to be every boss’ nightmare. The social networking website urges its members to hook up with workmates online. “I have not yet discovered a way of blocking this site since I find myself having to visit it after work.” Kwizera admitted.

That means thousands or even millions of corporate money is wasted as staff manage their online social life via Facebook during office hours, rather than be productive in front of the screen.

Kwizera has embraced the new, global networking capability and has set down times when it’s acceptable to Facebook after working hours or over lunch time in his office.

Gathoni Muoria, a journalist working in Rwanda says that Facebook is avoidable only when you don’t open your regular email.

“My regular e-mail now tells me I have Facebook messages, forcing me to go to Facebook.” Gathoni laments.  She says that for them that use firefox, they can use the Leech Block add-on to track your time spent on facebook.com and kick you off after a period of time you specify.

Sam says that instead of habitually going on Facebook as part of his routine, he has set incentives for himself before going on. “This is a good idea if you find yourself ending up on Facebook when you’re supposed to be working.” He adds.  He allows himself to go on for 15 minutes after he finishes his assignment or “I’ll look at those new pictures after I finish this chore.” He added.

Groups have even sprung up on Facebook which collect people who openly admit that they are browsing the social network rather than work. The ‘I have dossed around on Facebook all day and consequently have done no work’ group has more than 240 members.

Thus companies should increasingly use technological systems to filter the sites visited by their employees, partly as a security measure but also out of concern that employees are wasting a lot of time and money.

Joyce Njoki, a caterer who is currently reading Steven Covey’s book - 7 habits of highly effective people says that wasting of time has not been included among this habits and she has therefore made 20 minutes to be the time she wastes on Facebook per day.

“The temptation has become so hard. I have considered having a temporary password protected internet filter for facebook.com applied while I am working. I gave the password to a trusted family member, and asked him to activate it before I begin and deactivate it after I am through.” Njoki added.

Facebook has its pros and cons. Titus who uses Rude Bwoi as his user name does his business on Facebook. He sells refurbished laptops, and ipods at the market place on the site. “This has become my main source of income.” He reckons.

Titus says that the best thing one can do to manage his/her time is by being able to say NO. This means saying no to people who want you to chat instead of working and not giving time the benefit of managing you.


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