Surfing at work

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New Zealand Corrections staff have been viewing internet pornography at work, according to information obtained by the Dominion Post, but they’re probably not the only ones misbehaving online. Around two thirds of workers (64%) in the UK waste one hour of every work day and 14%, (nearly three in every 20 staff), waste a whopping three hours, daily. Not surprisingly, almost half of this time (48%) is spent surfing the internet for personal use.

This research was obtained by K3 Managed Services, a computer business solutions provider. “When we discuss the results of how their bandwidth is being used with our customers, many are shocked to see how much is taken up for personal use by employees,” Jason Price from K3 Managed Services said.

Is the situation the same in New Zealand? Well, according to WebSafety NZ, an internet management solutions provider, 60-70% of employees spend at least an hour every day on non-productive internet use. As the organisation points out, this amounts to $5,000 in lost productivity every year for each staff member paid $20 an hour.

Employers should establish an internet usage policy in order to avoid such time wasting, according to K3 Managed Services and WebSafety NZ. Such a policy should set out expectations of employees when using computers and the internet at work.

“As digital channels continue to mature, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to place blanket bans and restrictions on Internet access. However, companies with a robust Internet Usage policy can effectively manage their staff time online, and also ensure that they stay on the right side of the law,” Price said.

On the other hand, Dean Stewart, owner of WebSafety NZ, warns against too much vigilance. “It must also be said that staff should be entitled to a certain amount of non-work related internet surfing. How much that is depends entirely on the job, and whether that staff member is producing sufficient outputs as expected for the job,” Stewart said.

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