Daydreaming at the workplace is harmful to productivity.
Debate Rounds (3)
To fully understand how businesses are harmed by this, we must first examine the scale to which this is occuring.
A 2008 estimate puts the number of employees using time from the workday for non-related activities at around 70%. Of these, 30% use their time conducting personal business. This means that about 21% of employed people use company time for private use.
According to Merriam Webster:
1. a reverie indulged in while awake.
This is professional time being wasted for personal means.
First, I'd like you to address whether we are debating daydreaming or personal affairs. I prefer to stay on the topic of daydreams since that is in the name of the debate and "personal affairs" is such a broad topic. I accept the proposed definition of a daydream but would like to clarify what is considered a personal affair if that is also part of the discussion.
Next, I would like to set a daydreaming baseline so that we are both clear on the extent of daydreaming that we are arguing. Since you claim that "an employee that has spent a month at work will have undoubtedly spent hours of his time focusing on matters irrelevent to their tasks," I would like to establish a working month as a standard work week of 40 hours times 4 weeks to get 160 hours as a standard work month, give or take a couple hours. How much of this time period is considered "wasted" to daydreaming from your perspective? Are you proposing 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours a month?
With that out of the way, my stance is that daydreaming does not decrease productivity in the work place, but can actually serve to boost productivity. Of course, one cannot spend the whole work day in such a state but a good 4 or 6 hours a month can do a great deal of good. I will offer support for my claims in the next round when the above issues have been agreed on.
ShrawderA forfeited this round.
For my first argument, I would like to point out that our brains are at their most active while we daydream. While daydreaming, several areas of the brain associated with complex problem solving become highly stimulated. The activity of these parts combined with being unfocused allow us to tap into a wider variety of solutions that would normally be considered outside of the normal range of thought. This means that the solutions that are found while daydreaming tend to more innovative and cut-of-the-edge than average. Letting the mind wander is also how many people spark the initial idea to start a business. Since this is the case, without that "waste of time" daydream the workplace itself may not even exist for countless working citizens.
For my second argument, I would like to point out that daydreams help to relieve stress and improve mood and memory. Stopping in the middle of a difficult or frustrating task to take a moment and let your mind wander might actually improve performance on said difficult task. By letting the stress build up without an outlet, workers put themselves at higher risk for physical ailments like heart attacks and strokes. A buildup of stress can also lead to psychological problems like depression and anxiety that also affect workplace productivity. All of these conditions are avoidable by allotting employees a certain time period to let it all go. Some of the largest and most prestigious companies out there recognize the benefits of daydreaming and offer programs that encourage it like Google's 20% program and 3M's 15% program. These programs are just as they sound, allotting 20% and 15% of the employees time to be spent on daydreaming.
For those of you that are still not convinced, I'll lay down the economic benefits. 60% of all lost days can be contributed to stress and a good 75 – 90% of visits to the doctor are as well. It also makes it difficult to hire and maintain quality employees when stress is overwhelming. "Employees under stress may make more mistakes, have trouble concentrating, become disorganized, become angry or just stop caring about their work." When considering the above factors for absent employees, extra health care cost, and reduced productivity, stress costs US employers about $200 billion dollars yearly to fix.
Through encouraging creative thought and reducing the impact of stress and other undesirable factors, daydreaming actually increases productivity. It is also economically beneficial to allow time in the workday for employees to let their minds wander. I hope that my opponent resumes the argument next round. My sources are as follows:
ShrawderA forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ShrawderA 6 years ago
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