Handling Internet Use at Work
Office employees spend a lot of time on computers and mobile devices that allow them to browse the internet. This capability saves a lot of time by making communication and information access more efficient. Unfortunately, it also introduces a new potential distraction for employees, and potentially exposes company computers to viruses.
Social media sites and general net-surfing can be a time-waster for employees, especially if it becomes a pervasive habit in the workplace. Many businesses benefit from an established internet use policy for all employees to follow. However, they must be careful to avoid heavy restrictions or invasive monitoring practices that violate employee privacy or lower morale.
What are the Options?
There are several strategies you can use to encourage your employees to be productive at work. It can be challenging to find the best approach that compliments your company culture, so it’s important to consider all the choices available.
Limited Access (Blacklist): Blocking employees from accessing certain websites can be a simple and effective way to curb internet misuse. Some companies create a blacklist of popular social media and entertainment sites to prevent employees from navigating to time-wasting sites while at work.
User Monitoring: Recording all user activity on company computers is a direct way to identify time-wasting and crack down on internet abuse in the office. Activity can be recorded with keyloggers and other software that track all input from the users.
Honor System: Many companies choose to institute a policy based largely on the honor system. While occasional personal calls, emails and social media messages are permitted, workers are expected to keep it brief. When using this method, it’s important to train employees on proper internet use practices and cultivate a sense of personal accountability.
How to Make the Decision
Ultimately, the decision on how to regulate employee internet use falls to each individual business. If you are struggling to choose a strategy, consider contacting Matrix to create a plan for your company. Hiring outside help also gives you the chance to see your situation from a new perspective to find fresh solutions to the problem.