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
    Ebay, 23 Sep 2007 @ 5:28am

    Fired For Using eBay At Work

    It is obvious that there is an epidemic of workers surfing the internet while they are at work.

    My idea is that companies cannot solve this problem with their present harsh measures of filtering and blocking social networking websites.

    Ingenious workers would always find ways to beat these silly remedies.

    What I propose is that companies all over the world must admit that workers have a need to surf the internet and so the obvious remedy is to grant each worker 45 minutes daily to surf the net, check their e-mails, network with others, make phone calls and do anything else they wish to do.

    This will please the workers and increase their morales as well as their productivities.

    After all, without the workers, you would not have the companies, right?

    So companies should begin by attending to the needs of workers which is that they need time while at their jobs to surf the net and indulge a little in their various online interests.

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: Copying Is Not Theft
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.