Web Filtering Company Worried About Personal Surfing… Again

from the this-sounds-mighty-familiar dept

It never fails. Every time there’s some survey talking about personal surfing at work that suggests it’s somehow quite negative, it’s always sponsored by a company selling monitoring software — and the details rarely back up what the press release and news reports suggest. The same thing has been happening for years. Meanwhile, other studies show that monitoring employees decreases overall productivity while allowing employees the ability to surf creates more loyal employees who more than make up the time they spend personal surfing. Of course, there’s a slight change in this latest study. Instead of simply going on and on about wasted time, this study suggests that personal surfing at work may be a problem of addiction — a claim that used to be limited to psychologists trying to drum up extra business. What the data in this particular study shows, though, is that employees find personal surfing to be more important to them than a coffee break — which shouldn’t surprise most people, but hardly indicates that there’s any kind of “problem.” Were companies thinking of banning coffee breaks to protect people from an addiction to coffee? The coffee break is a way for employees to take a short break and recharge. Often, personal surfing does the same, but it can be more useful, because it can be productive to the individual to accomplish other stuff that they need to do. That’s no reason to condemn personal surfing at all. It’s a reason to celebrate it.

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