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Friday, April 1, 2011

Technology and Job Security: How Knowing When to Disconnect Can Make or Break You

By Toya Bryant

It's no secret that technology has cemented itself firmly in the workplace. For many employees, technology such as computers, smart-phones and landlines are a staple to their daily activity.

Not to mention the Internet, inter-office messaging and intercom systems keep everything running smoothly. Whether you are a so-called white collar or blue collar worker your connection to technology may be constant.

It used to be said that the biggest time waster in the office workplace was the computer version of Solitaire. A simple one-sided card game that was played by a single person.

With the continuing advances in technology an employee no longer needs to engage in a solitary activity. Now employees can communicate with anywhere between one to a thousand or more people within the scope of an eight hour workday depending on his or her online environment.

This is not just limited to just office employees who primarily sit in front of computers all day. Due to the dominance of hand-held devices anyone has a wide range of unlimited access to all sorts of extra- curricular activities.

How does this affect productivity on the job?

According to a study conducted by AOL and Salary.com the average American wastes two hours of every eight hour workday. 44% of the time wasted is surfing the internet for personal use. That amounts to almost $6000 of wasted salary per employee. This amounted to an estimated $759 million paid to employees for wasted time.

This study was conducted in 2005. Long before social networks like Facebook and Twitter fully integrated themselves into everyone's daily routine. Since these sites inception the cost as well as the amount of time wasted has no doubt skyrocketed in recent years.

Excessive use of technology in the workplace has become a major financial liability. With that in mind, the need exists for employees to know when to disconnect.

Knowing how to balance your use of technology and spending work hours productively instead of on personal interests or pursuits on the internet or through other forms of technology can be the difference between being gainfully employed and owning a spot at the unemployment office.

Toya Bryant is a Freelance Writer who focuses on positives changes and actions that impact the family and the community. Not only writing about them, but doing them in her own life by making her primary work volunteer service. She has written for various online publications as well as print magazines. Currently you can find her writing about ways to create a balance between the digital world and the real one at www.DisconnectU.com.

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