Rethinking Personal Surfing At Work

from the coming-around...-slowly dept

For the past few years, every other month or so, some scary report would be released about how “personal surfing” at work was happening. Each one of these studies just happened to be sponsored by a company that sold internet filtering technology to stop personal surfing at work. It looks like more people are starting to wonder what’s so bad about a little personal surfing at work? Most jobs now expect employees to be able to do some work at home, so, doing a few personal things at work seems perfectly fair. Studies have shown that workers who do some personal surfing at work are more productive and have improved skills and a better work/life balance. They get nagging things out of the way, and use the personal surfing as small breaks during the day to clear their head and remain focused. The first link above makes a very important point: there’s a difference between “non-productive” surfing and “counter-productive” surfing. It’s the counter-productive surfing that is what people should be concerned about, but because it sells more filters, the filtering companies have lumped counter-productive surfing with non-productive “coffee break” surfing. As the article points out, if there’s too much non-productive surfing going on, it probably means that the employee isn’t being challenged enough. Furthermore, workplaces that are too strict with their internet policies make employees feel stifled – which drops morale and (surprise, surprise) productivity.

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Comments on “Rethinking Personal Surfing At Work”

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AMetamorphosis says:

Common Sense

I work for a company that provides phone based technical support.

Our office allows us to surf while working with a little common sense throw in. If your looking @ news, daily visited sites or technically related sites you’re left alone …
If your crusin’ on over to Persian Kitty, you’re gonna get nailed.
Pretty simple.
Employees are happy with their jobs because they can pay bills, read news, update personal email, etc BETWEEN work. No loss of productivity is experienced. Employees use common sense and rarely does an individual abuse the freedom.

Management at other companies would do well to understand that this little, essentially free perk, is something they can provide to keep long term employees happy.

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