Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Theft by facebook, twitter, skype

Theft by facebook, twitter, skype
Tue 19 Mar. 2013, 09:50 CAT

It is true that some government workers are spending too much time on facebook and other internet based social networks during working hours at the expense of public service delivery.

It is also true that this is not only confined to "some government workers". We also find this practice in the private sector. An increasing number of workers are simply not working.

And the observations made by labour deputy minister Ronald Chitotela are very valid: "A lot of man hours are being lost as some workers are busier on the internet than working for the people. Some civil servants are wasting time chatting on facebook, twitter, skype and other internet based social networking at their work places. We know that some of the workers report for work to play games on computers while a good number of them keep chatting with their friends on facebook."

Employees, whether in the public sector or private sector, have a strict duty to give their employers efficient and conscientious work for which they have a right to a just salary or wage.
If our country is to move forward, honest and hard work is demanded of all of us, from the President to the humblest citizen. And every effort should be made that the enterprise becomes a community of persons. Moreover, it is decreed: "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread" (Genesis 3:9).

We also have to bear in mind that people's work concerns not only the economy but also, and especially, personal values. Work is rooted in respect for human dignity. It is done by a collection of individuals who have chosen to come together and to unite their minds, wills and hearts for the common good.

Work provides an opportunity for each of us to show that we are images of God. Why? It is because God is Creator and we, every woman and man, show forth God's image when we continue creation through our work, our labour, our engagement in shaping our country of the future.

Through work, we cooperate with the Creator in bringing to fulfillment the created world; we exercise our God-given abilities and talents as co-workers with God in the great task of transforming the material world. Work is not simply an onerous necessity, coincidental with our physical existence, a burden which we should try to escape in all sorts of ways. It is a vital part of our humanity, the manifestation of our creativity, an opportunity for our growth and fulfillment. Indeed, work is nothing less than a constituent dimension of the purpose for which the world was created and for which we ourselves were brought into being. To live is to be active; and for a human being this means the exercise of one's faculties of mind and body. Where this activity is directed towards winning livelihood or improving one's mode of life, it normally involves fatigue and is called work. In our present state, as children of Adam striving against odds to attain security and liberty, work is indispensable. It is imposed upon us by God; since without fatigue a human being cannot now, as God decreed, fill the earth and bring it to serve the needs of human beings.

Work does not detract from the dignity of a human person; rather it increases the person's worth, for it is the means whereby the person overcomes the defects and limitations of one's fallen nature and reaches the goal that God has fixed for that person. The true value of work is communicated to by the worker.

To work with the view of gaining greater security and freedom or to improving one's material state is a good and natural ambition. But to work with these sole motives is unworthy of a human being. It is only when we bring our labour and fatigue into relation with our origin and destiny that it is illuminated with the light of nobility and dignity. "In eating, in drinking," said St Paul, "in all that you do, do everything as for God's glory" (1Cor 10:31). On the other hand, where human labour is not seen through the eyes of faith, it becomes a thing to be avoided in all sorts of ways, something we dislike, and engenders in our hearts feelings of frustration and rebellion.

It is therefore unacceptable that one can wake up in the morning, go to work and spend most of his or her time chatting on facebook, twitter or skype or to simply play computer games instead of engaging in productive work for his or her employers, whoever they may be.

It is sad that information technology which was designed, at least in part, to save time is actually doing the opposite. The very tools we rely on to do our jobs better are also interfering with that mission.

For all of us, it's time to take back the internet and find ways to control our digital addition. While traditional activities such as talking on phones, chatting with co-workers, knitting and ad hoc meetings may account for some good measure of work interruptions today, the lion's share of distractions are not electronically based.

Despite the attachment to their digital tools and devices, both enterprises and end-users recognize the productivity challenges created by these technologies and have implemented a variety of tools in an attempt to limit digital-related disruptions. But always ways are being found around these limitations. And it continues to be a very big problem fettering productivity.

How many times per day do you check your phone or refresh your facebook page? Let's be honest: modern technology has turned us into update-aholics. And while this hyper-speed communication might allow us to feel intimately connected to the world, it can also destroy our work productivity.

The focus of employees and the output of their time and energy, is essential to the livelihood of an enterprise, whether publicly or privately owned, that employs them. Unregulated or unlimited distractions, especially those of an addictive nature such as real-time consumption and interaction on the web, are potentially disruptive. And something needs to be constantly and consistently done about it.

And we shouldn't ignore the fact that this is short-changing one's employers. It is a form of theft by the employee who has been contracted to do a certain number of hours per day and to be paid for those hours. They are receiving money for the hours they have not worked but spent on the internet, on computer games and cell phones, on sending short text messages on cell phones. This type of stealing, of theft has to stop. It is as much theft as dipping one's fingers in the till; one is getting money they have not worked for. This is corruption just like any other form of corruption and must be fought with all the conviction and tenacity with which we fight other vices.

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