The Internet and Social Media are both a blessing and a curse. Businesses can both live and die by how they exploit the marketing potential contained on social media platforms, likewise, the Internet has enabled operations to draw a wider net when looking to attract customers.
However, they can be a significant hit to employee productivity. Being able to block websites on chrome, easily the world’s most popular web browser, that serves only to distract employees can be far easier to implement productivity boost when compared to adopting a new culture or paradigm. The majority of guides will focus on how to block websites while using Windows but what of those who have chosen Mac as their preferred operating system?
Mac users have several options at their disposal to block websites on Chrome. Perhaps the easiest to implement are dedicated applications and browser extensions.
The question of how to block certain websites has gained a new aspect in an age of work from home employees. How is it possible to enforce certain policies while the employee is nowhere near the brick and mortar office? Fortunately, there are several apps that are easily installed and easily managed to prevent employees from accessing websites deemed inappropriate. As an example, Focus comes highly recommended and is available on both Chrome and Safari.
One of the apps greatest features is the ability to block a list of websites to a specific timeframe. This allows employees to access websites on the list after a certain period, typically when it is the employee’s leisure time.
We are all human and it is safe to be we have all spent hours on a social media platform checking and rechecking our news feed when we could have been more productive. Apps like Focus help prevent that from happening during billable hours.
Focus comes so highly recommended that it should be a default choice when looking for a website blocker. Those disciples of the Pomodoro technique will instantly see the value Focus can provide in reinforcing these habits.
Using Chrome Extensions
The Internet is full of guides on how to block a website on a specific operating system. Most of these are written from the perspective of looking to protect a curious child from the less savory aspects of the Internet, not from the perspective of boosting productivity.
Preventing an employee from spending hours on an eCommerce site can definitely be a way to increase productivity. One method of doing this is via a Chrome extension, with several highly recommended ones being available on the Chrome Marketplace.
Many of these will do exactly as advertised and block access to websites added to the blacklist. One of the issues regarding an extension added Chrome is that if multiple extensions are running simultaneously there will likely be an impact on system performance. Chrome itself drains a significant amount from the machine’s resource pool, this is only exacerbated when running several extensions.
Recommended extensions include StayFocused, Block Site, and WasteNoTime. Each perform similar roles, however, they differ in ways that might appeal to different users. StayFocussed includes a challenge feature that will issue a challenge upon any setting changes. Block Site allows users to block sites based on dedicated time periods. WasteNoTime boasts an instant lockdown feature that prevents any accessing of blocked URLs for a determined time period.
Blocking websites was often the consideration of responsible parents and network admins looking to protect an entire network. For the latter, browsers like Chrome have significantly beefed up in-built security measures. While safety is important, when it comes to website blocking it is no longer seen as the vital reason to block websites.
One reason to block websites like social media platforms is to prevent employees from speaking for the company when they don’t have the authority to do, creating a PR nightmare. However, the ability to help keep employees on their tasks is most certainly a reason to block websites known to be a distraction.
Like with reasons for blocking websites, there is not just one reason like there is not just one method. While Mac users have both dedicated apps and extensions on offer with a wide range of features to help, it is felt that apps are inherently better due to the better resource usage offered by an app over an extension.