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.

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  1. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 21 Sep 2007 @ 10:30am

    The Boss & The Hours

    Lately my team was restructured here.
    And consequently I have a new boss.
    My hours are somewhat flexible by me.
    And my old boss really didn't care.
    I don't recall how many times he and I talked about work (or just chatted about anything really), and he always toted the line, "If you can get your job done from Hawaii, go ahead and move".
    Personally, I really could get it done from Hawaii, but I never brought that up, as I believe there is some value in having some office presence.
    Granted they never issued me a laptop, and I am here on this huge lug bound to driving here 5 days a week. (I would love to work 4 10 hour days instead of 5 8 hour days)
    Anyways, I can't guarantee that I put in 40 hours EVERY SINGLE week. Some weeks more, some weeks less. And then I admit, I am here and read techdirt throughout my work day from time to time.
    It does help me with small breaks. Prevents brain fry scenario. Honestly.
    The new boss lately was saying that I should be here more standard hours and that 40 hours are REQUIRED per week, period. I do not think she has noticed that I do not take hour long lunches as our company provides, but instead take half hour lunches. I can see how if she never noticed that then that could account for some "lost hours" in her mind.
    Main point is, I go get my job done. And then some. When the pressure ramps up, I generally get everything done. If it takes a 45 hour week, then I put in 45 hours. As long as my job gets done, and stuff isn't done late, I think its all good.
    I guess the new boss doesn't quite subscribe to that way of thinking.
    Am just kind of waiting for her to mention it again so that I will point out why I feel the way I feel, and then I am sure she will point out why she feels how she does, and we will probably both adjust some. We shall see.

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