Even though internet is incredibly beneficial tool in a workplace, it is the most exploited one as well. According to a study conducted in 2002, 92% of the time employees use the office internet to conduct online stock trading while 46% of the time, it was used for online holiday shopping. Additionally, according to a more recent survey, UK companies are losing £ 2.5 Million each year due to non work-related web surfing. Similar cases all over the world are resulting, not only in monetary loss alone, but also a rapid decline in employee productivity that is responsible losses in the form of time or resources.
As already discussed, internet abuse is a global problem, a problem that is gathering more strength with time. Various forms of internet abuse are;
Typically, business use high speed internet to make sure that all their online interactions are done in a timely manner and at high speed. While it is company’s way to stay at the top, it is also an ideal way to abuse company resources.
As already mentioned, employees abuse the free reign they have to the high speed internet access for their own purposes. Whether they need it to upload videos or download music, or use Facebook, they do it all during their work hours, putting a serious dent in the productivity at work and their credibility as a person.
- Watching Videos
Watching funny videos on sites like Vimeo, YouTube, etc is a favourite office pastime and this trend doesn’t end here. Most office employees tend to forward the links to such videos to their co-workers as well, distracting them and decreasing the overall productivity, not only putting in a dent in the profit but also making the business suffer heavy losses in terms of non work-related web surfing and time.
- Inappropriate sites
Office internet is like the hub of inappropriate web sites. Reports have suggested that most married couples look up sites like PornHub, and AshleyMadison.com for voyeuristic pleasures as well as to bring back some excitement into their lives. Now, using such outlets to keep boredom at bay is an employee’s personal matter but using the internet at workplace to achieve such an end is no way to go about it. Workplace internet is there for employee to work hard to make a living and not to use to fulfill a void in their lives.
- Running a Side Business
Recently, a woman in California was caught running an e-commerce website during office hours, using not only the company bandwidth and equipment to run her own business but also the company delivery services to meet her own need. Needless to say that she is no longer working for that company. The sad thing is, it is not a solitary case. Thousands of employees try to pull wool over their employers’ eyes every single day by using office internet for their own interests. It can be something as simple as downloading a song over iTunes to something as complex as using eBay using work internet to buy and sell stuff. Most companies do keep an eye on such interactions but when the company itself operates an e-commerce website, such infractions become pretty hard to catch.
Ever since social media has taken on the world, Facebook has been ruling the workplace. One of the most looked up and used websites during office hours anywhere in the world, Facebook is a nefarious addiction that people have yet to shake off. Even though the use of Facebook is beneficial for a company, if it puts it in the spotlight, yet, more often than not, employees use it for personal reasons or worst, to leak out company secrets, which might not turn out to be a good thing, both in forms of monetary loss as well as loss and exploitation of resources.
- Random Internet Browsing
Another common past time at the office is just randomly browsing the internet for hours. This is quite similar to watching videos on YouTube, but the employee’s randomly reading blogs and such are quite easier to recognize and catch compared to the despicable video-watchers, since they can claim to working on a project. Additionally, such random internet browsing might also turn out to be the reason behind automatic download of malware on office computers which may spread to other computers since most of them are usually connected via the office network.
It’s time to create a strict Internet usage policy to make sure employees do not abuse Internet. Employers may also use apps like TheOneSpy to keep tabs on the online activities of employees and reduce the high rate of internet abuse at workplace.
Angelica is tech geek as well as a Content manager and Social Media enthusiastic. She is extremely passionate and result driven professional. She writes for TOS blog. App to monitor employee. Follow her on twitter @angelicadowson2
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