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Down time

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:28 am

Down time

QĐND – Monday, December 20, 2010, 21:26 (GMT+7)

Office staff in Vietnam rarely work all day, preferring instead to put their computer access to their own use.

When people think of office staff what springs to mind is usually nicely dressed men and women coming in and out of tall office blocks where they spend their days hard at work. Many are, indeed, very responsible employees and even spend more than their normal eight hours a day at the office to complete unfinished tasks. It’s also true, though, that many others adopt bad habits at their place of work, which lower productivity and cost their employer. Accessing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, playing games or browsing through shopping websites are among the most common. This occurs with office staff in nearly all companies in Vietnam, as they generally have access to computers and their bosses can’t keep an eye on them all day every day.

Cimigo – an independent team of marketing and brand research specialists – recently completed a survey on net citizens among nearly 3,000 internet users in six cities in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, and Nha Trang). It revealed that the most common occupations of internet users are executives, office staff, professionals, and factory and retail workers. Some 40 per cent of internet users can be classified as white-collar workers and 13 per cent blue collar. The Cimigo report also shows that internet users in Vietnam spend considerable time online. During weekdays, the average user is online for 2 hours and 20 minutes. The most common place to access the internet is from home, but access at work has increased in recent years and become the second most common place for users, according to the report.

Moreover, in a pocket survey conducted by VET of more than 30 office staff in Hanoi, all said they never spend the full eight hours working. Ms Nguyen Thi Ngan, who works for a research centre in Hanoi, said she usually works for about six hours a day. “The other times I socialise with other staff, eating and drinking, or access Facebook and other social networks to relax,” she said. Her colleagues and even her manager were the same. “My friend posted her wedding photos on Facebook a few days ago and I spent hours looking at them and posting comments before taking care of some urgent work,” Ngan admits.

Ms Le Thi Chi, a staff member at a tea company in Thai Nguyen province, also only works about six hours a day. There isn’t much for her to do, she explained, and her salary is not high, so “I don’t want to spend too much time working,” she said. “I have a baby now so I usually look at websites on taking care of children or at shopping websites to find nice and original clothes. Facebook is also a favourite, because I can chat with friends.” She added that sometimes she spends nearly all day shopping online and leaves her work for the next day.

Though their choice of websites may differ, men are no better when it comes to spending time at the office not working. They tend to play games and download films, software, and songs. Mr Nguyen Van Hien, an assistant to the director of a construction company in Hanoi said: “I usually have to translate documents for my director from Vietnamese to Korean and vice-verse, and this is very stressful. I can’t focus on translating all the time, so I often play games online to relax or watch funny videos or listen to music. I don’t know what the other staff here do, but I’m sure they also don’t spend the whole day working.”

“This is a real problem in every office, not only in Vietnam but also around the world,” said Ms Nguyen Thi Dinh, Head of the Personnel Department at a company distributing foreign wine. “I know that the staff at my company don’t work all day. But it is very difficult to watch them all the time. I think companies have no other choices but to ‘live’ with the situation and accept it.” Her company has blocked access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but staff always find a way around it and, besides, there are other websites they can access and it’s simply not possible to block all of them.

It’s very difficult for companies to monitor their staff’s every move, so the opportunity will always be there for them to spend time on personal pursuits. “I think the most important solution is for companies to have polices to raise awareness and responsibility among staff about doing their job, as well as giving them more work to do on a higher salary,” suggested Ms Dinh.

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

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