Your Employees and Internet Access

Office work also implies a computer, and lately, you can’t much work done without Internet access, and nowadays almost every office computer has access to the Internet.

Some companies even signed contracts with internet service providers so they can benefit from high speed internet connections. In some cases, some companies have more computers than employees.

However, this also comes with some disadvantages. Productivity decreases, your employees spend too much time online browsing websites, checking their social networks accounts, and some of them are even playing games online ( a friend of mine fired one of his employees after catching him playing World of WarCraft online when he was supposed to be working on a programming project – true story! ) – and who’s paying for all of this ? You are.

Time is a very important when it comes to work. Most of your employees have different tasks to fulfill each day and if they are spending more time online then they are going to have to stay at the office and work overtime.

Of course, you can restrict access to some programs; however there are so many alternatives that simple override your restrictions. Also, employees can be monitored, but this seems to be an extreme situation.

What is really important is communication: you, as the employer, have to make it clear that spending time online during work hours for activities not related to the job description is not tolerated.

You might also think about blocking Internet access entirely but you should know that this is not a good solution. Sometimes your employees have to do research online about the projects they are working on for your computer.

If it happens to also check their Facebook accounts for 1 or 2 minutes, write a tweet or read a news article about something interesting, well this can be tolerated as a person has to unwind for a bit and who knows maybe new ideas will pop up – the human mind works in mysterious ways and strangers things have happened! I get my best ideas when I am driving my car, for example.

Some employees, like programmers or designers, feel the need of relaxing and read / see things that are not strictly related to their work in order to unwind.

A short internet break during working house makes your employees get their minds clear and focus more on the things that need to be done. So, if you’re thinking about blocking internet access completely – don’t – however make it clear that you are not going to tolerate hours of online browsing for personal things. Allow them to spend around 30 minutes a day using the internet during working hours for personal use.