Although work ethics in the Czech Republic has improved in recent years, a survey just out indicates that employees spend an hour a day –on average – on social networks, dealing with their private mail or chatting on the phone. According to estimates this amounts to around 33,000 crowns a year in lost productivity per employee.
Before the widespread use of electronic cards, employees were used to leaving the office for an hour or so to go to the post office, do a bit of shopping, or go to the bank. Things have changed since and work morale is reported to have improved considerably, largely thanks to the new work regulations introduced by foreign companies and taken over by local institutions. Going to the hairdressers during work-hours is no longer an option at most workplaces, but employees are finding other ways to take a break from the work process.
Private phone calls, surfing the net, computer games and time spent on social networks –those are the most common activities that Czechs engage in when they are supposed to be working. According to a survey conducted by TruconneXion Czechs fritter away on average 52 minutes of their work day in one way or another.
While in the last decade or so the main non-work related activities were answering private mails, surfing the web and playing games on employers’ PCs, now Czechs are becoming more cautious and moving these activities to company mobiles and ipads. It gives them lesser user-comfort, but also a slimmer chance of being found out. With work PCs now widely monitored the risks of being fined or even sacked are high. However companies are gradually extending their surveillance. According to TrueconneXion interest in software that can monitor non-work activities on mobiles is growing. The number of firms who ordered it jumped by 20 percent last year.
Although employees are under increased surveillance, psychologists who specialize in the area of work motivation, say that taking a brief break from the work process is generally beneficial and may serve to inspire rather than disrupt the employee, the only exemption being administrative jobs that require a high level of concentration, precision and leave no room for creativity. Perhaps understandably, it is precisely people in such jobs who are most inclined to surfing the net or playing computer games at work. Most are also public sector employees where surveillance is not at a particularly high level.
Either way, employers generally agree that they do not expect their employees to work relentlessly and consider a break of up to twenty minutes to be perfectly acceptable.
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