As an experienced business consultant, this type of time wasting phenomena existed before the computer era and it its an inherent trait in company culture.
Any specific job in a company contributes in part to the whole success of a company.
Every job has key elements that must be fulfilled that together enables the company to be successful
Its all locked down in an employment contract and a performance measurement system.
So don't ban anything
The clauses dealing with these issues must be clearly stated in the employment contract and policy and procedure system and the performance system will measure if the key elements of the job has been fulfilled.
If yes, fine. The incumbent is doing the job as stated and to the expected standard. Let them play
If not, investigate. Start the procedure as stipulated in the contract and policy and procedure system to correct the situation.
Add a clause to the contract stating that 'play' is allowed, not controlled etc. because the company treats all as responsible adults for doing their jobs. But if its a problem, strong action will be taken.
Example: Use of company phones for personal calls.
I was contacted by several companies about this problem nothing formal works to stop it, so don't.
Amend P&P and contracts that states that all individuals can use the company phone system if required but are responsible for their own phone calls. Set a cap. State that phone usage will be audited randomly at least 4 times a year. Send each employee his phone stats.
Wait. Deal with overuse when employees come to management about their overuse voluntary. Audit well once. Take action. Phone costs dive to below acceptable levels for a while then stabilizes around the acceptable costs.
I had the same problems to solve for usage of bandwidth, stationary, toilet rolls! Yes!, tea and coffee and many more. Each needs a different approach but all were solved by NOT restricting and NOT controlling by the company.
I am sure that some of you reading this will by now have also realized the enormous savings on management time and aggravation on these issues with this method.
In short, make the incumbent responsible for his own actions and hit them hard with the consequences of their actions. (This does NOT mean ?firing? (I never use this word BTW).
There are far better solutions that reinforces the company's attitude of 'take responsibility', 'face the consequences')
Ta-da, magic exits and I have graduated to Marlin status.
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