This problem is HUGE. Most employees get on the Internet for personal reasons while they’re at work. 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. How shared leadership is evolving through remote working, COVID-19: How to mitigate workplace liability and financial loss, How shared leadership can future proof your company. There should be a very realistic picture as an employer as to why, how and to what extent people use these technologies as work. McGill University’s Alex Miltsov breaks down some of the biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon. If you’re managing remote staff, they might be using the same personal computer for work and personal use. 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. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. The parameters for computer use at work (and even at home) are often confusing. Employees are increasingly looking for workplaces where they can exercise some autonomy and flexibility. They take a much needed mental break so they can continue working. 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. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. Now we are seeing a task-oriented approach where you do some work intensively and then there are moments of inactivity — that is the new normal. Personal Internet Use at Work Should full personal use of work equipment be allowed? While employees slip personal online activities into their work time, their work may also be encroaching on their personal lives. 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. This, in turn, can boost employee morale. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(218977, '5fd39ac9-a0fc-4ddb-bf16-3121cd414a49', {}); When it comes to employees, this is not a new debate per se. We posit that higher workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater opportunities for personal Internet use. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? With more and more digital technologies and algorithms being introduced in the workplace, we are seeing that a lot of work that used to require human input is or has already disappeared. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. The counter-argument can be: “that podcast actually helps me do my work.” This is where it gets complicated when it comes to policy setting and how employers should treat those types of behaviours at work because there are a lot of blurred lines. Being able to access the Internet and social media sites can be a nice benefit to workers. Take a break but keep your job. It can also boost productivity in some circumstances by providing employees with a short break so they can recover their concentration. Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the way people play and work. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. It can also be multi-screening when you’re doing some kind of work, but you’re passively watching some kind of show or listening to a podcast as well. Most of us would be hard pressed to deny our use of the Internet at work for non-work related purposes. Fortunately, cyberloafing is not a purely negative workplace behaviour. Introduction Cyberslacking (also referred to as cyberloafing, non-work-related computing, cyber deviance, personal use at work, Internet abuse, workplace Internet leisure browsing, and junk computing) is the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes (Bock & Ho, 2009; Johnson & Indvik, 2004; Lim, 2002; Mastrangelo, Everton, & Jolton, 2006). Use the Internet for your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only. There is only a minority of workers who are using these technologies for more than 40 percent of their work time. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. Home; ORDER NOW; How it works; Samples ; Blog; Personal Internet Use at Work AMAZING OFFER 35% OFF … Specifically, this study aims to: (i) determine the extent of personal Internet use using mobile Internet devices at the Malaysian workplace; and (ii) investigate the individual and situational factors that lead to this behaviour. The trends are unsettling for HR executives nationwide: 30 to 40 percent of employee Internet activity is non-work-related, according to IDC Research. Order Customized Papers. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of … 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. 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. examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. In our age, there is more and more task-oriented work so whenever you have different tasks, you have periods of time when you are inactive and there is no work. ► Being young, a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.03.002. In your research, have you seen what kind of things people are reading or watching online at work? The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. The survey finds that workers with Internet access at home and at work used an average of 3.7 hours per week of work time for personal Internet use. Completely cutting off the Internet for personal use may not be the best approach. By ... You can test positive for COVID-19 after a vaccine—but that doesn’t mean the shots don’t work. Alex: What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. December 2, 2011. Read your employer’s Internet usage and social media policy carefully. Personal Use You can access the Internet for occasional personal use at the discretion of your manager. 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. There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. Train them to recognize when an employee might be abusing internet time or sites at work. Within professions that use computers, … It boils down to being in charge of your work and your work conditions. A well-thought-out internet policy helps you enjoy the benefits of the internet while reducing the pitfalls. How do you think people should approach personal internet use at work? The use of the internet at work offers many advantages and resources which can be beneficial to a company's operations. Is personal Internet use at work primarily the domain of lower-status employees, or do individuals higher up the organizational hierarchy engage in this activity at equal or even greater levels? This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. How do you measure productivity in digitalized work spaces? Surfing the internet at work might turn out to be a perk that is good for productivity. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. Monitoring and Privacy Rights of Employees at Work. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. For instance, paying a bill online during a lunch break or sending a note to a friend on Facebook can provide flexibility in the workplace. currently studying the use of digital technologies at work. 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. If you look at the literature in labour studies, the questions of agency, power, autonomy, and flexibility have been some of the key issues in the labour movement in North America and many workplaces around the world. Taking personal time while at work is a manifestation of a certain kind of agency and autonomy for workers. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. Personal Internet use at work: Understanding cyberslacking. 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. 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. 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. 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. Photos: Wilfred Iven, Andreas Palmer, Shutterstock, 228 Park Ave S. #39903New York, NY 10003 USA, The Reality of Personal Internet Use at Work. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. The employee may need to use such websites for work-related purposes. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of personal activities, then you alienate your workforce and that leads to diminishing productivity. Now we are seeing a task-oriented approach where you do some work intensively and then there are moments of inactivity — that is the new normal. 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. Findings of this study provide useful insights to … Report: Personal Internet use at work out of control Who cares about corporate IT policies? Developing an environment in which employees self-monitor personal online time at work … How to disguise your personal web-surfing at work. While not every person has access to the Internet at work, the majority do. Wasted time at work is one of, if not the most important challenge companies all over the world are facing. Alex: We know that e-mail is by far the most popular thing workers use for personal digital technology at work and we also see that there is now a spike in social media use. This situation may alienate the workforce and may create potential conflict. This employee internet usage policy applies to all our employees, contractors, volunteers and partners who access our network and computers. The survey finds that workers with Internet access at home and at work used an average of 3.7 hours per week of work time for personal Internet use. Pros. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. 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. 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. Do you have a policy for personal internet use at your own business? 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. Alex: It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. Define Consequences. Because of that, employers are recognizing that this is an important dimension and will allow more personal internet use at work. A clear distinction needs to be made between work use and personal use. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. The trouble here is that, in some workplaces, employees are required to use social media to promote their company or products to do something for the employer. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. In our age, there is more and more task-oriented work so whenever you have different tasks, you have periods of time when you are inactive and there is no work. Alex: With more and more digital technologies and algorithms being introduced in the workplace, we are seeing that a lot of work that used to require human input is or has already disappeared. The problems arise with allowed access to personal email accounts, social networking sites, auction sites, etc. Several recent studies have shown that browsing the internet actually increases employee performance. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. The internet is essential for doing business. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. As communicators, I and my team could give ample stories of the foolish things … The Internet is essential to the operation of most businesses today, and allowing your employees to access the World Wide Web is a necessity. The trouble here is that, in some workplaces, employees are required to use social media to promote their company or products to do something for the employer. This has been a double-edged sword for businesses. 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. We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. We started off by asking Alex what kind of effect personal internet use at work has had on employees and employers in the workplace. ► Media habits positively predict cyberslacking variety & frequency. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. Cyberslacking (also referred to as cyberloafing, non-work-related computing, cyber deviance, personal use at work, Internet abuse, workplace Internet leisure browsing, and junk computing) is the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes (Bock and Ho, 2009, Johnson and Indvik, 2004, Lim, 2002, Mastrangelo et al., 2006). However, it can also be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches. ► We test predictors of cyberslacking variety & frequency for nine behaviors. You can’t just say “you can take as much time off as you want,” it has to be within certain reasonable limits. It has to be negotiated in that particular workplace. goonlinepapers@gmail.com. During the work day, employees routinely check social networking sites, read current news articles, engage in online banking and shopping, watch YouTube videos, and book weekend travel. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. And with the ubiquity of the smartphone, Internet access is always at our fingertips. Alex: We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. Train your managers and supervisors about how to establish and maintain the expectations and policies of your workplace. I would say, because of those extended times of inactivity, we can predict this in the workplace: we will see more personal internet use. There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. Nowadays, beyond wages and compensation, employees really value flexibility and autonomy. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. Use of internet at work, Problems with use of internet at work, can I be sacked due to my use of internet at work, example of a teacher being struck off due to his use of internet at work, would this have been the case if the sentiments were expressed during personal private internet usage When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. Devices and online tools encourage 24-7 … We communicate, network, watch our TV shows, do our grocery … But … The counter-argument can be: “that podcast actually helps me do my work.” This is where it gets complicated when it comes to policy setting and how employers should treat those types of behaviours at work because there are a lot of blurred lines, It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. This is the same story for your phone, tablet, and any personal device that you connect to your network at work. Develop and maintain a culture of trust. Results are discussed as to how the present study expands on previous research, and directions for future research are indicated. As the years go by, it’s harder and harder to remember how we ever survived without it. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. Alex Miltsov is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at McGill University and is currently studying the use of digital technologies at work.His current research project examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about personal internet use at work? Register; Sign In; Go Online Papers. Have you come across any corporate culture success stories from not restricting personal internet use at work? The tricky part is that it is difficult to really measure productivity in digital workplaces, it was much easier in industrial settings where you would have some kind of output. … That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and 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. Employee internet usage policy elements What is appropriate employee internet usage? 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. 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. For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency, Twitter and Facebook are integral to your operations. internet usage policy would typically cover all employees who have internet access Three measures of cyberslacking are employed to provide a richer analysis of the phenomenon: individual behaviors, frequency of cyberslacking, and variety of cyberslacking. 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. We know that e-mail is by far the most popular thing workers use for personal digital technology at work and we also see that there is now a spike in social media use. To conclude, where do you see this phenomenon in the next five to ten years? 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. One of the greatest is the temptation to use the Internet for personal reasons during the course of a workday. 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. By circumventing certain prohibitions imposed by the employer, it will actually take the employee more time but they will still be doing it. 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. By monitoring personal internet usage, employers can ensure that employees are disseminating confidential information about the company to the public. A reasonable amount of personal Internet use may, in fact, help employees be more productive, allowing them to juggle personal and work obligations more effectively. Internet browsing can have a positive impact on employees's emotions, allowing a measure of stress release. Not employees, who will take "whatever … Matthew Lasar - Apr 27, … Should employees be allowed to access the Internet for personal use if. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. It can also be multi-screening when you’re doing some kind of work, but you’re passively watching some kind of show or listening to a podcast as well. As more and more employees regularly check their work e-mail and complete assignments in non-working hours, the old distinction between work and personal time is blurring. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. 116 views; Shares; Tweets; Shares; Facebook Messenger; Pins; Shares; Email What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. What are the real implications of personal internet use at work? Your boss can monitor your personal computer if and when you connect to the work network. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. If you ban social media and personal e-mail, you can actually hurt your company as an employer. Our employees are advised to use our company’s internet connection for the following reasons: To complete their job duties. 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. 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. Positive impact on employees and employers in the workplace are often confusing abusing time... Employees to waste time, their work may also be encroaching on their personal projects at work University s! Be doing it survived without it work ( and even personal internet use at work home ) often! 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