Using Internet Filters At Work

from the don't-trust-your-employees dept

Wired has an article about how companies are starting to expand what internet activities they filter out. They focus mainly on the companies that make various web-filtering technologies, as they seem the most eager to use such technologies. However, beyond just filtering out porn and gambling sites, they’re now trying to block out sports and shopping sites, as well as the ability to use IM programs or download MP3s. They try to suggest that by blocking these things out companies can improve worker productivity. I’m not sure this is true. Worker productivity isn’t necessarily directly correlated to how much of their time is spent doing only work related activities. If it helps someone to be much more productive during the rest of his or her day to goof off for a few minutes here and there, isn’t that a better system? Plus, monitoring and blocking everything that an employee does builds a culture of mistrust into the company. It says that the management doesn’t trust its employees to do the job they were hired to do. If you think that management doesn’t trust you – it might make you a lot less motivated to do a good job. The bottom line is that if you hire someone to do a job, you should expect them to do that job. If they’re not doing the job, then fire them. If they are doing the job, then be happy. Other than that, who cares how they use the internet?

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