Our employees are advised to use our company’s internet connection for the following reasons: To complete their job duties. 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. The Internet is essential to the operation of most businesses today, and allowing your employees to access the World Wide Web is a necessity. However, this opens up the possibility that workers will use the Internet for personal reasons during working hours, resulting in lost 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. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. 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. Do you have a policy for personal internet use at your own business? They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. 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. If you’re managing remote staff, they might be using the same personal computer for work and personal use. You can’t just say “you can take as much time off as you want,” it has to be within certain reasonable limits. What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their 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. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. Personal Internet use; Social networking; Inappropriate communications; Prohibited Internet use; Passwords; Working remotely; Phishing; Internet-use violations; About our courses. 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. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. 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. By ... You can test positive for COVID-19 after a vaccine—but that doesn’t mean the shots don’t work. Developing an environment in which employees self-monitor personal online time at work … Use encryption and passwords to protect both work and personal data. I would say, because of those extended times of inactivity, we can predict this in the workplace: we will see more personal internet use. 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. Employee internet usage policy elements What is appropriate employee internet usage? There should be a very realistic picture as an employer as to why, how and to what extent people use these technologies as work. Internet browsing can have a positive impact on employees's emotions, allowing a measure of stress release. 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. ► Being young, a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking. Wasted time at work is one of, if not the most important challenge companies all over the world are facing. 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. Monitoring and Privacy Rights of Employees at Work. 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. 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. ► There is significant variance in predictors of individual behaviors. Read your employer’s Internet usage and social media policy carefully. In your research, have you seen what kind of things people are reading or watching online at work? A clear distinction needs to be made between work use and personal use. In this study, personal Internet use is defined as the use of Internet for all non-work-related activities, either goal driven or not. 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 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. Being able to access the Internet and social media sites can be a nice benefit to workers. internet usage policy would typically cover all employees who have internet access However, it can also be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches. 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. Pros. Alex: It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. Several recent studies have shown that browsing the internet actually increases employee performance. How to disguise your personal web-surfing 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. As the years go by, it’s harder and harder to remember how we ever survived without it. This has been a double-edged sword for businesses. 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. This, in turn, can boost employee morale. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their 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. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. Define Consequences. 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. 116 views; Shares; Tweets; Shares; Facebook Messenger; Pins; Shares; Email The parameters for computer use at work (and even at home) are often confusing. 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). If you ban social media and personal e-mail, you can actually hurt your company as an employer. Define Consequences. By circumventing certain prohibitions imposed by the employer, it will actually take the employee more time but they will still be doing it. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Train your managers and supervisors about how to establish and maintain the expectations and policies of your workplace. The use of the internet at work offers many advantages and resources which can be beneficial to a company's operations. Should employees be allowed to access the Internet for personal use if. 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. Three measures of cyberslacking are employed to provide a richer analysis of the phenomenon: individual behaviors, frequency of cyberslacking, and variety of cyberslacking. Nowadays, beyond wages and compensation, employees really value flexibility and autonomy. Most of us would be hard pressed to deny our use of the Internet at work for non-work related purposes. 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. Photos: Wilfred Iven, Andreas Palmer, Shutterstock, 228 Park Ave S. #39903New York, NY 10003 USA, The Reality of Personal Internet Use at Work. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Personal Internet Use at Work Should full personal use of work equipment be allowed? They take a much needed mental break so they can continue working. Use progressive discipline with employees who repeatedly violate your expectations and trust. Overall, maybe 10 or 15 percent of work time is dedicated to personal internet use at work. It can also boost productivity in some circumstances by providing employees with a short break so they can recover their concentration. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. Have you come across any corporate culture success stories from not restricting personal internet use at work? Home; ORDER NOW; How it works; Samples ; Blog; Personal Internet Use at Work AMAZING OFFER 35% OFF … McGill University’s Alex Miltsov breaks down some of the biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon. The problems arise with allowed access to personal email accounts, social networking sites, auction sites, etc. 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. 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. 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? How do you measure productivity in digitalized work spaces? Alex: We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. Taking personal time while at work is a manifestation of a certain kind of agency and autonomy for workers. There is only a minority of workers who are using these technologies for more than 40 percent of their work time. While not every person has access to the Internet at work, the majority do. 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. 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. Register; Sign In; Go Online Papers. The employee may need to use such websites for work-related purposes. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 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. One of the most controversial issues is personal use of technology at work, which is often referred to as cyberloafing, a voluntary act of employees using technology for non-work-related purposes during working hours . 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. Because of that, employers are recognizing that this is an important dimension and will allow more personal internet use at work. Findings of this study provide useful insights to … People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. We posit that higher workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater opportunities for personal Internet use. Skip to content. Fortunately, cyberloafing is not a purely negative workplace behaviour. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. … The trends are unsettling for HR executives nationwide: 30 to 40 percent of employee Internet activity is non-work-related, according to IDC Research. 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. In fact, employees arguably spend about 2 hours per 8 hour work … We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. It has to be negotiated in that particular workplace. How do you think people should approach personal internet use at 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. For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency, Twitter and Facebook are integral to your operations. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. 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. Devices and online tools encourage 24-7 … This problem is HUGE. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. Most employees get on the Internet for personal reasons while they’re at work. While employees slip personal online activities into their work time, their work may also be encroaching on their personal lives. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. Develop and maintain a culture of trust. December 2, 2011. Order Customized Papers. Not employees, who will take "whatever … Matthew Lasar - Apr 27, … 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. Internet use at work refers to either connecting to the Internet or using e-mail. As communicators, I and my team could give ample stories of the foolish things … Personal Use You can access the Internet for occasional personal use at the discretion of your manager. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. 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 all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. And with the ubiquity of the smartphone, Internet access is always at our fingertips. ► Media habits positively predict cyberslacking variety & frequency. 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. 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. By monitoring personal internet usage, employers can ensure that employees are disseminating confidential information about the company to the public. 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. 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. 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. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of … There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. currently studying the use of digital technologies at work. 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. There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? 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). 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. Within professions that use computers, … 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. Alex: What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. 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. 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. Your boss can monitor your personal computer if and when you connect to the work network. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. But … A well-thought-out internet policy helps you enjoy the benefits of the internet while reducing the pitfalls. Take a break but keep your job. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. What are the real implications of personal internet use at work? Completely cutting off the Internet for personal use may not be the best approach. We communicate, network, watch our TV shows, do our grocery … https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.03.002. To conclude, where do you see this phenomenon in the next five to ten years? Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the way people play and work. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. 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. Results indicate that being younger, male, and a racial minority positively predict cyberslacking variety and frequency, as do routinized Internet use at work and higher perceived Internet utility. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. The internet is essential for doing business. 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. This employee internet usage policy applies to all our employees, contractors, volunteers and partners who access our network and computers. 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. Train them to recognize when an employee might be abusing internet time or sites at work. This is the same story for your phone, tablet, and any personal device that you connect to your network at work. 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. goonlinepapers@gmail.com. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. Employees are increasingly looking for workplaces where they can exercise some autonomy and flexibility. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. 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. Some companies actually allow their employees 30 to 60 minutes of personal time on the company’s Internet daily. Report: Personal Internet use at work out of control Who cares about corporate IT policies? One of the greatest is the temptation to use the Internet for personal reasons during the course of a workday. 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. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. Personal Internet use at work: Understanding cyberslacking. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Use the Internet for your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only. This situation may alienate the workforce and may create potential conflict. ► We test predictors of cyberslacking variety & frequency for nine behaviors. 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. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. 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. 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. 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. Surfing the internet at work might turn out to be a perk that is good for productivity. 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. It boils down to being in charge of your work and your work conditions. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about personal internet use at work? We started off by asking Alex what kind of effect personal internet use at work has had on employees and employers in the workplace. Results are discussed as to how the present study expands on previous research, and directions for future research are indicated. 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. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? 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. 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