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Does Your Staff Suffer From Internet Addiction?

We’ve all wasted time surfing the Internet, but as we know, there are unfortunately extremes to every action. Wasting time by mindlessly browsing Internet pages can certainly become a problem when it claims huge portions of your time at work, killing your productivity. Can you not seem to get away from surfing the Internet?

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_addiction_400We’ve all wasted time surfing the Internet, but as we know, there are unfortunately extremes to every action. Wasting time by mindlessly browsing Internet pages can certainly become a problem when it claims huge portions of your time at work, killing your productivity. Can you not seem to get away from surfing the Internet?

“Just one more website” seems to be the mantra among people who suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder; a disorder that has developed among people in recent years who claim that their dependency on the Internet interferes with their daily life. Such a disorder could really put a damper on productivity at work, especially if you are an Internet-addicted business owner who can’t seem to lay off of Twitter for more than 15 minutes.

Interestingly enough, the root of Internet addiction disorder can be found in studying human biology. Compared to the timeline of human existence, the Internet is still a brand new tool. In fact, our brains are still adjusting to the brand new caliber of information overload presented by the Internet. With each new social media notification, email, chat request, and other piece of information comes a release of an addictive “feel-good” chemical in our brains called dopamine; the same stuff that gets people hooked on drugs. Who would’ve ever thought that we would one day compare hard addictive drugs to funny cat memes?

A great example of Internet real estate that will keep you longer than you would like to stay is a site called The Art of Manliness. The writers recently explored the issue of Internet addiction, comparing it to the way our brains reward us when we discover new information about our physical surroundings:

And what is the Internet besides a collection of millions of bits of information–hit after dopamine-releasing hit. The Internet is really like a giant information slot machine. Every time you surf to a new page, you pull that lever, and wait to see what pops up. Pull the lever. Pull the lever. Pull the lever. Ding-ding-ding-ding. It’s easy to get entranced and lose track of time.

Pulling yourself out of Internet addiction in hopes of being more productive at work can be an extremely difficult task. You could go cold turkey and not use the Internet any longer (at least for a designated period of time). However, this would be close to impossible, seeing as how you use the Internet at work for research, team collaboration, communication, organization, and virtually every day-to-day task. Instead of severing your ties to the Internet completely, you should identify which websites are the worst distractions for you personally, and set up guidelines for yourself for when you can use them, like when you’re not on company time.

If you are a business owner and find it difficult to keep your irrelevant-site-addicted staff in check, you could implement an Internet usage policy for your company, or give them the ol’ stink eye in sheer hopes that your punishment will inspire change. But this is probably not likely.

There is, however, a powerful alternative. Why not let technology itself control abusive use of technology? With a Unified Threat Management (UTM) networking solution from PACE Technical Services, you can manage your employees’ use of distracting websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest by simply entering them into the UTM content filter. This way, those sites can be blocked, eliminating employees from accessing them and wasting company time.

With the UTM filter, you can even adjust the limitations for each user, so only those who waste hours of time on Tumblr each day are restricted access. Or you could limit everybody from all social media and blogs except your social media director. However you choose to use it, the UTM filter is totally customizable, and can potentially save your business from less-productive employees.

Businesses that employ content filtering with UTM have seen their productivity levels increase by as much as 25%! Take a stand against Internet Addiction Disorder by giving PACE Technical Services a call at 905.763.7896 to learn more about integrating UTM with your business!

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