Social Media Is A Problem For Some County Employees

Social Media Is A Problem For Some County Employees

Social media consumes time and data on your phone, and even makes its way into your home. Now the digital distraction is popping up in the workplace.
Wichita County employees may be spending more time on social media than actually doing their jobs. That's among a number of reasons why county commissioners approved spending $20,000 on new computer software from SolarWinds.

"That software will proactively manage systems that are critical to the operation of the county," said George Crutchfield, Information Technology Director of Wichita County.

It will help with security, the county's firewall, and functions to monitor the county's database. It will also help keep bandwidth under control, and will even monitor employee productivity.
After a trial run, the report showed county employees were using Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Amazon more than work related websites.

"I think our main concern is probably the loss of productivity at this point," said Crutchfield. "We need to keep a real close eye on how the internet is being used and who's doing what on it."

In the report, county officials said they noticed peak social media activity. Increased access to the various websites happened right before lunch, and between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said while it's not meant to act like a babysitter, monitoring activity will help result in better county performance altogether.

"We need to stay on top of this, and this will provide us a tool do that," said Gossom. "We're trying to live and let live but some people are living a little bigger then they need to in the unauthorized area."

Even some residents said county leaders need to get on top of the problem.

"You know if you're getting paid to work you know, people expect you to work," said Wichita County resident Michael Phillips. "I mean, if I was your boss I wouldn't pay you to be on Facebook or Youtube all day."

The tool will not only help keep employees working, but will also help when departments seek new hires.
The IT department will be able to track whether or not the department is actually performing to its best ability.

"It can be used for good," said Assistant Technology Director for Wichita County. "When a department head comes in and says 'we would really like to give this person a raise, what is their productivity?' and I can look and I can say '99 percent of the time they're working.'"

As a result of those findings county officials are already heading back to the county handbook. Officials are holding a meeting Thursday to re-write some of the rules and guidelines of what county employees should be accessing on the county internet.

On top of new handbook rules, the county will also soon use new software that will block some of the websites altogether during certain work