Do you let your employees use the internet during work time? It's an interesting question because our Advice Service receives many calls from employers who wish to discipline staff for using the internet when they should be working. Is it acceptable to allow staff to surf the internet during their lunch hour? Personally I believe it's not a problem to allow them to use the internet before and after work but not throughout the day. I also draw the line with allowing staff to use the internet briefly during working hours, a quick two minutes here, five minutes there, it all adds up and in the end it results in productivity being lost.
Also implementing measures to control internet usage can be costly, and there are other factors to consider, viruses could be downloaded, or personal emails may be offensive. What seem trivial issues could result into something more substantial and possibly damaging - these are all factors to be taken into account. Let’s not blow the situation out of proportion, controlled internet access is a sensible option but it can be difficult to police. So ensure that you have policies in place that inform your employees of rules and procedures, and discipline repeat offenders. However the problem of browsing the internet during work time is an issue most employers will continue to experience. I'd be interested to hear what rules you have in place to control internet access in the workplace - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org