Stop Everything! People In Offices Are (Oh No!) SOCIAL With Each Other!

from the this-must-STOP dept

It’s always fun to read news articles based on the somewhat breathless claims of internet monitoring and filtering firms. They come out with all sorts of studies and press releases that try to make the most innocent things sound absolutely scary. The most common are stories that make it sound positively awful that some people might do some personal surfing at work! Oh, the horror! Notice that reports like that never seem to mention studies that have shown those little breaks often help productivity while making more loyal employees. The latest, though, is a report that is warning absolutely everyone that (gasp! oh no!) people use work email for social purposes! Now, many people might think such things are a good sign. It means that your employees get along with each other. However, according to a company trying to sell email monitoring tools, it’s a “problem” that needs to be kept to a “minimum.” Yes, there are always issues of abuse, but if people aren’t getting their work done, then that should be the sign of the problem — not whether they discussed their weekend plans via email. Of course, given recent NLRB rulings about how companies have the right to ban any employee fraternization either at work or away from it, perhaps being friendly to your co-workers is a thing of the past.

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Comments on “Stop Everything! People In Offices Are (Oh No!) SOCIAL With Each Other!”

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TJ says:

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Boy, Mike always takes the most pro-staff stance possible on such things. I’m not a fan of big companies, lord knows, but there is a balance. Where I work there are people who manage to send hundreds of personal messages A DAY, and no one does anything. Now I agree that in a perfect world work output would be the primary measure and to hell with monitoring anything else, but in reality land where we all actually live, managers are as likely to be major jerkoffs as are some line staff, and one tool to find those ‘tools’ is investigating MAJOR inappropriate use of IT resources. This is rarely a couple stray messages, this is the bigtime pattern of abuse sort of things, i.e. hundreds of messages over a few days.

Can we get a little perspective please, and quit pretending that any monitoring of employee misuse of IT systems is automatically horrible? Oh no, of course not, this is Techdirt. My mistake.

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