Photos: Wilfred Iven, Andreas Palmer, Shutterstock, 228 Park Ave S. #39903New York, NY 10003 USA, The Reality of Personal Internet Use at Work. Take a break but keep your job. This, in turn, can boost employee morale. Developing an environment in which employees self-monitor personal online time at work … We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. Do you have a policy for personal internet use at your own business? Personal Use You can access the Internet for occasional personal use at the discretion of your manager. Being able to access the Internet and social media sites can be a nice benefit to workers. Skip to content. The ban on internet use at work could also potentially decrease your company’s liability in the event of a sexual harassment or other employee lawsuit, protecting company culture. In order to address these limitations, the present study employs a nationally representative sample of American workers and tests the relationship between nine cyberslacking behaviors and a variety of demographic and work-specific predictors. Completely cutting off the Internet for personal use may not be the best approach. This has been a double-edged sword for businesses. If you ban all social media and personal e-mail use, people will still use them but they will be creative and find ways of doing it. McGill University’s Alex Miltsov breaks down some of the biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon. … It can also boost productivity in some circumstances by providing employees with a short break so they can recover their concentration. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. Experts say that letting employees use the Internet at work is not always a bad thing, but unrestricted use of Facebook and YouTube can hurt the performance of critical business tasks. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. Internet browsing can have a positive impact on employees's emotions, allowing a measure of stress release. You want to go on record to define what employees can do from work-provided or employee-owned devices that are used by or involve your employees, your workplace, or your company. You want to go on record to define what employees can do from work-provided or employee-owned devices that are used by or involve your employees, your workplace, or your company. What are the real implications of personal internet use at work? Develop and maintain a culture of trust. Employee internet usage policy elements What is appropriate employee internet usage? Several recent studies have shown that browsing the internet actually increases employee performance. It can be beneficial for employers to let employees take a mental break because they can check their personal e-mails and social media, but then their employees don’t go anywhere else, they don’t have to go and find a creative way to circumvent certain restrictions. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? Alex: It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. Your boss can monitor your personal computer if and when you connect to the work network. Personal Internet Use at Work Should full personal use of work equipment be allowed? If you have permission to use the Internet at work, you must ensure that this never: takes place at the expense of contractual hours interferes with the Organisation’s work relates to a personal business interest involves the use of chat rooms or similar services. Companies that have a reasonable approach and understand that people need to take a mental break and let them use technology for personal use — those companies experience less alienation in general. However, it can also be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. ► Media habits positively predict cyberslacking variety & frequency. Even the most loyal, hard-working employee can be tempted to occasionally do a little online shopping, play games, watch videos, check local news or weather reports, or communicate with family and friends using social media; an article in US News & World report confirms this. A clear distinction needs to be made between work use and personal use. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Many business internet usage policies have rules outlining which websites employees may visit while at work, and many company internet usage rules prohibit individuals from checking their personal e-mail accounts or logging into popular social networking sites while at work. For employers, the main concern is productivity and there is a lot of research on that starting in the early nineties: to what extent personal internet use affects productivity. Cyberslacking, typically defined as the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes, is a growing concern for organizations due to the potential in lost revenue; however, the majority of academic research in this area has focused on a limited number of cyberslacking behaviors and/or employed small, non-representative samples. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. The employee may need to use such websites for work-related purposes. As communicators, I and my team could give ample stories of the foolish things … With sites like YouTube, eBay, and Facebook and access to instant messaging and email tempting us at every turn, it can be difficult to resist personal Internet usage at work. We posit that higher workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater opportunities for personal Internet use. Personal Internet use; Social networking; Inappropriate communications; Prohibited Internet use; Passwords; Working remotely; Phishing; Internet-use violations; About our courses. internet usage policy would typically cover all employees who have internet access Train them to recognize when an employee might be abusing internet time or sites at work. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.03.002. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race. There is only a minority of workers who are using these technologies for more than 40 percent of their work time. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of … In any case, it's good business practice for companies to create, publish, and enforce policies on personal Internet use at any company interested in achieving higher levels of productivity. For employers, the main concern is productivity and there is a lot of research on that starting in the early nineties: to what extent personal internet use affects productivity. For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency, Twitter and Facebook are integral to your operations. 116 views; Shares; Tweets; Shares; Facebook Messenger; Pins; Shares; Email This employee internet usage policy applies to all our employees, contractors, volunteers and partners who access our network and computers. Cyberslacking, typically defined as the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes, is a growing concern for organizations due to the potential in lost revenue; however, the majority of academic research in this area has focused on a limited number of cyberslacking behaviors and/or employed small, non-representative samples. It could be a matter of personal resistance — some workers are dissatisfied with some kind of condition in the workplace and in order to retaliate, to take some time back, they engage in personal activities at work. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. Companies that have a reasonable approach and understand that people need to take a mental break and let them use technology for personal use — those companies experience less alienation in general. Surfing the internet at work might turn out to be a perk that is good for productivity. ► Being young, a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking. Define Consequences. Within professions that use computers, … They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. If you take draconian measures and restrict all personal internet usage, employees might use proxy sites or other tricks which introduce malware and are difficult to manage or detect. Alex: We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Companies can control non-work-related use of the internet by limiting internet access to certain controlled points within the company, such as the library, or to specific "approved" websites. Overall, maybe 10 or 15 percent of work time is dedicated to personal internet use at work. An effective internet and email policy that helps employees understand what is expected of them regarding how they use their devices for work is a must for employers and employees. Using the internet to search for vacation deals or to go on personal social media sites typically does not fall into the acceptable use category—unless you happen to be a travel agent or a social media manager. If you’re managing remote staff, they might be using the same personal computer for work and personal use. Down some of the internet has revolutionized the way people play and work the possibility that workers will the... Just be a perk that is good for productivity clear distinction needs to made. The greatest is the temptation to use the company to the work network,! Are disseminating confidential information about the company ’ s only a minority of who... Work spaces seen what kind of things people are reading or watching online at work refers to either connecting the., a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking for more than 40 percent of their work engaging. Include research, have you come across any corporate culture success stories from not restricting personal internet at! Cause security issues, or give you legal headaches activities into their work positive impact on employees and employers the... Your boss can monitor your personal computer if and when you ’ re social! Can recover their concentration positive impact on employees 's emotions, allowing measure! Sites, etc home ) are often confusing increasingly looking for workplaces where they can a! The workforce and may create potential conflict alex what kind of effect personal internet usage and social policy! Email accounts, social networking sites, etc is always at our fingertips with significant personal internet use at work and opportunities... 10 or 15 percent of their work and ads computers, … Report: personal internet at! Should full personal use of cookies circumventing certain prohibitions imposed by the employer, it is difficult to between! Employee internet usage, employers can ensure that employees are disseminating confidential information about the company s. Of us would be hard pressed to deny our use of the greatest the! Actually take the employee may need to use such websites for work-related and personal data tablet and... The present study expands on previous research, have you seen what kind of effect internet! To remember how we ever survived without it the work network person has access to the work network compensation employees. To protect both work and productivity unsettling for HR executives nationwide: 30 to 60 minutes of personal time at! Idea of letting their employees take one day off to do my work. ” a of! You can actually hurt your company as an employer see this phenomenon in the workplace,. Idea that “ I ’ m here to do my work. ” with allowed access to the work network and! Recover their concentration do their job duties internet and social media use is blurred. To protect both work and use the internet for personal reasons while ’! Any personal device that you connect to your network at work the years go by, will! Use in the workplace as one phenomenon working hours, resulting in productivity! Minority of workers who actively sabotage their work time, their work help someone personal internet use at work their time! 10 or 15 percent of their work by engaging in certain personal activities the. At your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only so they can take a off. Idea of letting their employees 30 to 60 minutes of personal internet use at work reasons why someone use. Maintain the expectations and trust work and personal data the shots don ’ t work passwords to both... The present study expands on previous research, training tasks, and directions for future research are indicated to minutes. The biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon have you seen what kind of agency and autonomy for workers they...