A dealer concerned about employees wasting time at work shared this scenario:

“10 text messages a day consumes 10 minutes. That is 50 minutes a week, 3.3 hours a month, 39.9 hours a year or a loss of a week’s worth of work for the employer. There are numerous work distractions and they cost employers money and possibly increased wages for employees.”

Now, add in the time spent on another time distraction, social media. One recent study shows that people spend 50 minutes per day on Facebook. That may not seem like much. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s almost as much time as people spend eating and drinking — not to mention the lost time transitioning back into work. A recent Salary.com survey shows that 89% of employees admit they waste time and 31% say estimate they waste about an hour a day.

There’s no clear-cut solution to the problem as dealers struggle with distracted employees and lost time.

John Crafton of Tyler Brothers Farm Equipment, Maryville, Tenn., says,“No cell phones are allowed on property, and all social media sites, including YouTube, are blocked on every computer as well.”

Kenny Bergmann of S&H Farm Supply, Lockwood, Mo., says, “We are very aware of the time employees spend on social media. The dilemma in our business is that we need to encourage the utilization of social media as a function of our business while at the same time discouraging personal consumption. It is currently a topic of conversation within our management team and our approach is somewhat different by department.”

It is unrealistic to expect every employee every day to work every minute. Let’s be honest. We all need a brain break every now and then. Business coach and Rural Lifestyle Dealer columnist Monty Wyatt suggests this approach:

“Businesses should have standards, not rules — standards to how we treat and interact with customers and standards on how we use our time.

  • A standard could be: The person in front of us is always the most important.  This means we should not be on our phones or eating in front of customer and when a customer walks through the door we help them with open arms.
  • A standard could be: We communicate with our clients by their preferred method of communication. Meaning it could be by text or by social media messaging or by telephone.
  • A standard could be: If we are getting our work done and achieving our goals, we can use our time how we see fit. Today’s world is about blending personal and business life. 

Businesses should learn how to use and maximize technology vs. trying to ignore it.”

Check out what other dealers are doing to address excessive social media use in this Q&A feature. And, check out these ideas for using technology through smartphone apps to increase your employees’ efficiencies and effectiveness.