Quick, go take a look at your call center agents. Are they hard at work, taking calls from customers and doing everything else their position entails, or are they letting their phone ring so they can update their Facebook or Twitter?
The fact is, you might not be able to tell. There are sneaky ways an employee can get around any firewalls you may have in place to prevent non-work-related surfing. With laptop computers and smartphones, it may not even show up on their computer.
3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their partners there are ways to spot when an agent is taking “me time” when they’re supposed to be on the job:
Web sites designed to look like productive pages, really games:
Some web site designers have come up with creative ways to hide flash games so workers can look like they’re hard at work while playing games, as well as ways to quickly click on an icon so the screen looks like the individual playing the game is hard at work on a project.
Extended lunch breaks:
If an employee is going out for lunch, they may run into an unexpected delay due to traffic, a long lineup at the restaurant they bought lunch from, etc. However, you may just find they consistently offer these excuses as a way to take an extended lunch break.
An agent can easily conceal their smartphone using their lap or keyboard. What’s more, they can use their own data network, so if they’re doing any surfing, it can’t be traced on your organization’s firewall. In addition, they may be sending text messages.
Numerous bathroom breaks:
Unless an agent has a legitimate medical reason for frequent bathroom breaks, making regular trips to the washroom may be less about relieving themselves and more about taking an unscheduled break.
“Working” from home:
While more and more employers are offering their employees the chance to work from home and most remote workers provide the same performance they would when they are at an office, even more may take advantage of the lack of supervision and do a minimum of work and spend the rest of their day surfing the Web or out of their home.
The easiest way to find out if your employees are using the Web for personal reasons is to monitor their surfing and performance. If they aren’t getting a lot of work done, it may be a sign they’re using their computer for personal reasons.
Keep an eye on their social media activity. If they are making constant updates, even when at work, they’re using either their work PC or smartphone for it when they should be working.
For remote workers; have them download and use instant messenger programs like Skype. Also, tell them to be signed in by a certain time every day. Finally, 3C Contact Services advises that just to be sure they’re around, send them messages.