Controlling Cyberslacking says Carol

Surfing in Business Suit Controlling Cyberslacking says CarolHow much is cyberslacking impacting your business and what should you do about it?

One employer tracked his 30 employees to determine how much time they spent on the Internet for personal reasons during the work day. He found they were spending an average of 45 minutes a day.

This employer’s problem is a common one. In fact, at www.getsafeonline.org it states that a third of companies have had to discipline staff for misuse of the internet. How a business responds to controlling the problem is where the variance is.

The Wall Street Journal article A Facebook-Free Workplace? Curbing Cyberslacking on May 20, 2010 talks about the various ways companies approach this new challenge.

Some companies do not want to be too harsh and try the self-policing approach. They say walk the talk and explain to the employees how damaging cyberslacking is to the bottom line. They can couple that with a policy that lists what sites are acceptable to visit during work hours and for how long.

Another company put monitoring software on all computers except one in a spare office. Employees can use their breaks and lunch hour to do such things as personal banking or emailing.

Our BBB bans playing internet games except during breaks and lunch hour. Personal emails are allowed. Why not? We always have allowed employees to have personal phone calls as long as they are short and not too often. And if the employee is getting his job done, occasional shopping on the internet is acceptable. This can be a slippery slope since International Data Corp says 60 percent of all online purchases are made during working hours.

Some companies are unsure of how much their employees are cyberslacking. Hire a company to help you track this activity. You can track and document employee computer use of websites visited, online searches, email sent and received, Facebook, other social networks and more. Some companies have done the tracking and found they needed to fire employees immediately.

You can also hire companies to block specific types of sites like:  adult and mature content, gambling, violence, hate and racism, etc.

Get your human resource person involved and decide what approach is best for controlling the inevitable cyberslacking. There is not one best answer for all companies.

What has your company done?

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About Carol Odell

Carol J. Odell, is the CEO of the Better Business of Southern Colorado and has been with the BBB for twenty years. Even before her BBB life she was involved in the community as a volunteer and co-owner of a manufacturing business. She is a published author, speaker, wife, mother, and grandmother --- and enjoys all of these roles.