Infosnacking or Just Plain 'Screwing The Dog' On Company Time

Lee Raito

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Infosnacking was declared word of the year for 2005 by Webster’s New World College Dictionary. If you are reading this article while at work, and it is not research for your company or related to your job in some way, then you are officially infosnacking. Dang, we use to just call it ‘screwing the dog’, but guess that is no longer Politically Correct. Infosnacking is defined as using the internet, on company time, to check your email, read the news, peruse the sports scores or a myriad of other internet related time stealers.

Long gone are the days employers have to worry about extended lunch or smoke breaks hurting the bottom line? Companies now have to be worried about employees wasting precious time at any point they are sitting in front of their computer. Just imagine, a few minutes to check Hotmail here, a few minutes to read a joke there and voila…another hour gone to the internet gods and money down the drain.

It is estimated that infosnacking, also referred to as cyberslacking, costs the North American economy alone billions of dollars in lost productivity. Study after study of employee internet usage consistently shows a percentage of online time being spent on non work related activities.

There are opposing views on what to do in the corporate world about ‘infosnacking’. Many companies are monitoring and consequently dismissing even the smallest abusers of company internet privileges. Alternatively, some corporations are going the complete opposite route, and allowing periodic use of the internet on company time to help their employees reduce stress in their life. Examples of this would be allowing an employee to complete their internet banking, send a personal email or two, or just read the news while on lunch or a coffee break. Their view is a happy employee most often is a productive employee!

Either way, infosnacking is here to stay, and despite dangerous estimations of lost billions to productivity, this could probably be offset by the billions lost to stressed out, unhappy employees calling in sick so they can stay at home and check their email, surf the web and infosnack in their pajamas, on a company paid sick day!

By Lee Raito, CFP, FMA

Business and financial expert Lee Raito is a Certified Financial Planner and Financial Management Advisor. Lee has teamed up with Internet marketing expert Sam Heyer to provide you with information that will take your business success to a place it has definetly never been before. Their controversial book, Business Sexcess, is the much talked about book that will transform how you look at business. For a free Chapter please visit


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