Improving employee productivity with application control

With application control tools, businesses could prevent employees from accessing sites and programs that would inhibit their productivity.

Many successful businesses have been built on the efforts of hardworking and dedicated employees. Maintaining a high level of service for clients and consumers depends on a robust workforce to keep business operations running smoothly. However, keeping employees on task has been an increasingly uphill battle for many managers in recent years. The advent of high-speed internet in the workplace has created countless distractions to compete for employees' attention. This has created many concerns regarding staff productivity and overall operational effectiveness, leading many managers and system administrators to consider deploying application control tools.

SMBs at risk for productivity loss
With their slimmer profit margins, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) cannot afford to allow their employees to utilize company resources to engage in leisure activity. Yet, SMBs appear to be more susceptible to this trend than their larger counterparts. According to research compiled by the Bank of Canada, firms with fewer than 100 employees are 27 percent less productive than larger enterprises, Financial Post reported. For businesses of modest size, that reduction in output could have adverse effects on a company's ability to provide reliable and quality services to its clientele.

One option available to office managers is to limit employee use of company resources for recreational purposes. According to a survey released by Salary.com, 69 percent of employees reported wasting time at work every day. Surfing the internet remains one of the biggest drains on employee productivity. Only 20 percent of the study's participants said they never use the internet for personal or recreational purposes while at the office.

Employees crack under pressure
However, managers who think they can simply ask their employees to refrain from these activities may be causing more harm than good. Researchers representing institutions from the United States, Italy and Denmark conducted a study on how employees responded when asked to stop visiting nonessential websites while at work. According to the study's findings, employees expended so much energy controlling their urges that it had a negative effect on their performance. In contrast, staff members who faced no such requests performed much better.

If asking employees to resist the urge to use company resources for their leisure pursuits will ultimately prove detrimental, office managers can take advantage of application control and whitelisting tools to prevent workers from accessing unauthorized sites and software. These instruments can be leveraged to cut off access to social media networks, sports or entertainment websites and software such as video games and torrent clients. With these distractions out of the way, businesses can be sure that their employees are not misusing company resources and are giving their full attention to the task at hand.

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.