Companies Fight Digital Diversions With Social Shutdown

If you’re targeting potential prospects or customers where they work, consider that a new study finds the proliferation of collaboration and social tools designed to increase productivity is costing businesses millions of dollars per year in lost productivity, and some companies are doing something about it.

The study, by, finds that nearly 60% of work interruptions now involve using tools like e-mail, social networks, text messaging and IM. In fact, 45% of employees work only 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted, and 53% waste at least one hour a day due to all types of distractions. For businesses with 1,000 employees, the cost of employee interruptions exceeds $10 million per year. But business are trying to cut back on the interruptions, as the following findings indicate:

• 68% of respondents reported that their employers have implemented policies or technologies to minimize distractions.

• The No. 2 corporate strategy used to discourage digital diversion is blocking access to public social networks such as Facebook and/or other non-business Web sites (48%).

• Other corporate techniques used to promote digital efficiency include tracking online usage patterns (29%), training (25%), No Facebook Fridays (6%) and No E-mail Fridays (3%).