Fired For Using eBay At Work

from the did-they-at-least-buy-anything-good? dept

There have been a bunch of bogus stories over the years (usually placed by companies that sell internet filters) about the productivity losses of personal surfing at work. However, other studies have shown that personal surfing tends not to be a problem for most people. It helps ease the work-life balance that has all too often created a situation where "work" interrupts "life." Thus, it seems only fair for "life" to occasionally show up at "work." In fact, one study showed that people who do personal surfing at work tend to make it up either by being more productive or putting in extra work time from home. The key, really, is to look at whether or not the person is getting their job done. If they're able to get the job done, then does it really matter if they spend some excess time surfing?

Over in the UK, there's a story about nine office workers who were fired after it was discovered that they had spent up to two hours a day on eBay. That seems like quite a bit (though the "up to" part can be misleading). However, some questions aren't answered. For example, there's no indication as to whether or not it impacted their job performance. It's also not clear from the report if these workers were exclusively using eBay or just had the window open while doing other things. Right this second, I have about eight or nine browser windows open. Most are work related, but a few are not -- but if I leave the window with the latest baseball scores open all day, it doesn't mean I only was checking baseball scores all day. The employees apparently are represented by a union -- but rather than arguing the points I've mentioned here, they're actually arguing that it's (get this) the employer's fault for putting temptation in the way of these workers and not filtering out eBay. That seems ridiculous and hopefully doesn't get any support at all.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2007 @ 5:41pm

    As the IT guy in a small privately owned company, my only issue is the security of our data and systems.

    That's all - but it's a big deal.

    Our people are competent enough using the computers for their work; but - in spite of constant education - they haven't a clue about email or web security issues. I don't think they are any dumber than the average person, in that regard.

    Most people are just like them - and not as sophisticated as the folks who post here.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.