For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency, Twitter and Facebook are integral to your operations. Our employees are advised to use our company’s internet connection for the following reasons: To complete their job duties. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? For employers, the main concern is productivity and there is a lot of research on that starting in the early nineties: to what extent personal internet use affects productivity. This situation may alienate the workforce and may create potential conflict. I would say, because of those extended times of inactivity, we can predict this in the workplace: we will see more personal internet use. Internet browsing can have a positive impact on employees's emotions, allowing a measure of stress release. Alex: We know that e-mail is by far the most popular thing workers use for personal digital technology at work and we also see that there is now a spike in social media use. In order to address these limitations, the present study employs a nationally representative sample of American workers and tests the relationship between nine cyberslacking behaviors and a variety of demographic and work-specific predictors. The survey finds that workers with Internet access at home and at work used an average of 3.7 hours per week of work time for personal Internet use. goonlinepapers@gmail.com. Personal Use You can access the Internet for occasional personal use at the discretion of your manager. It boils down to being in charge of your work and your work conditions. There is only a minority of workers who are using these technologies for more than 40 percent of their work time. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. This is the same story for your phone, tablet, and any personal device that you connect to your network at work. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. One of the most controversial issues is personal use of technology at work, which is often referred to as cyberloafing, a voluntary act of employees using technology for non-work-related purposes during working hours . Many business internet usage policies have rules outlining which websites employees may visit while at work, and many company internet usage rules prohibit individuals from checking their personal e-mail accounts or logging into popular social networking sites while at work. Because of that, employers are recognizing that this is an important dimension and will allow more personal internet use at work. Define Consequences. For instance, paying a bill online during a lunch break or sending a note to a friend on Facebook can provide flexibility in the workplace. ► Being young, a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking. They take a much needed mental break so they can continue working. The trends are unsettling for HR executives nationwide: 30 to 40 percent of employee Internet activity is non-work-related, according to IDC Research. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. Even the most loyal, hard-working employee can be tempted to occasionally do a little online shopping, play games, watch videos, check local news or weather reports, or communicate with family and friends using social media; an article in US News & World report confirms this. examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. Companies can control non-work-related use of the internet by limiting internet access to certain controlled points within the company, such as the library, or to specific "approved" websites. ► Media habits positively predict cyberslacking variety & frequency. Use the Internet for your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. The counter-argument can be: “that podcast actually helps me do my work.” This is where it gets complicated when it comes to policy setting and how employers should treat those types of behaviours at work because there are a lot of blurred lines, It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This, in turn, can boost employee morale. Specifically, this study aims to: (i) determine the extent of personal Internet use using mobile Internet devices at the Malaysian workplace; and (ii) investigate the individual and situational factors that lead to this behaviour. The tricky part is that it is difficult to really measure productivity in digital workplaces, it was much easier in industrial settings where you would have some kind of output. Wasted time at work is one of, if not the most important challenge companies all over the world are facing. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. Alex: It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. ► We test predictors of cyberslacking variety & frequency for nine behaviors. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. During the work day, employees routinely check social networking sites, read current news articles, engage in online banking and shopping, watch YouTube videos, and book weekend travel. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race. Order Customized Papers. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. Define Consequences. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(218977, '5fd39ac9-a0fc-4ddb-bf16-3121cd414a49', {}); When it comes to employees, this is not a new debate per se. Read your employer’s Internet usage and social media policy carefully. Photos: Wilfred Iven, Andreas Palmer, Shutterstock, 228 Park Ave S. #39903New York, NY 10003 USA, The Reality of Personal Internet Use at Work. The counter-argument can be: “that podcast actually helps me do my work.” This is where it gets complicated when it comes to policy setting and how employers should treat those types of behaviours at work because there are a lot of blurred lines. The ban on internet use at work could also potentially decrease your company’s liability in the event of a sexual harassment or other employee lawsuit, protecting company culture. Develop and maintain a culture of trust. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. What are the real implications of personal internet use at work? Not employees, who will take "whatever … Matthew Lasar - Apr 27, … That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. Some companies actually allow their employees 30 to 60 minutes of personal time on the company’s Internet daily. We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. Train your managers and supervisors about how to establish and maintain the expectations and policies of your workplace. While not every person has access to the Internet at work, the majority do. Cyberslacking, typically defined as the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes, is a growing concern for organizations due to the potential in lost revenue; however, the majority of academic research in this area has focused on a limited number of cyberslacking behaviors and/or employed small, non-representative samples. Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the way people play and work. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? In your research, have you seen what kind of things people are reading or watching online at work? People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. The Internet is essential to the operation of most businesses today, and allowing your employees to access the World Wide Web is a necessity. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. McGill University’s Alex Miltsov breaks down some of the biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon. If you look at the literature in labour studies, the questions of agency, power, autonomy, and flexibility have been some of the key issues in the labour movement in North America and many workplaces around the world. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. Should employees be allowed to access the Internet for personal use if. Train them to recognize when an employee might be abusing internet time or sites at work. Use progressive discipline with employees who repeatedly violate your expectations and trust. Employee internet usage policy elements What is appropriate employee internet usage? Devices and online tools encourage 24-7 … ► There is significant variance in predictors of individual behaviors. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. Pros. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. If you have permission to use the Internet at work, you must ensure that this never: takes place at the expense of contractual hours interferes with the Organisation’s work relates to a personal business interest involves the use of chat rooms or similar services. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. We know that e-mail is by far the most popular thing workers use for personal digital technology at work and we also see that there is now a spike in social media use. It has to be negotiated in that particular workplace. This problem is HUGE. It can also be multi-screening when you’re doing some kind of work, but you’re passively watching some kind of show or listening to a podcast as well. You want to go on record to define what employees can do from work-provided or employee-owned devices that are used by or involve your employees, your workplace, or your company. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of personal activities, then you alienate your workforce and that leads to diminishing productivity. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. By monitoring personal internet usage, employers can ensure that employees are disseminating confidential information about the company to the public. Personal Internet Use at Work Should full personal use of work equipment be allowed? It could be a matter of personal resistance — some workers are dissatisfied with some kind of condition in the workplace and in order to retaliate, to take some time back, they engage in personal activities at work. In any case, it's good business practice for companies to create, publish, and enforce policies on personal Internet use at any company interested in achieving higher levels of productivity. Nowadays, beyond wages and compensation, employees really value flexibility and autonomy. Three measures of cyberslacking are employed to provide a richer analysis of the phenomenon: individual behaviors, frequency of cyberslacking, and variety of cyberslacking. It can also be multi-screening when you’re doing some kind of work, but you’re passively watching some kind of show or listening to a podcast as well. In our age, there is more and more task-oriented work so whenever you have different tasks, you have periods of time when you are inactive and there is no work. Results indicate that being younger, male, and a racial minority positively predict cyberslacking variety and frequency, as do routinized Internet use at work and higher perceived Internet utility. Now we are seeing a task-oriented approach where you do some work intensively and then there are moments of inactivity — that is the new normal. The use of the internet at work offers many advantages and resources which can be beneficial to a company's operations. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. It could be a matter of personal resistance — some workers are dissatisfied with some kind of condition in the workplace and in order to retaliate, to take some time back, they engage in personal activities at work. However, this opens up the possibility that workers will use the Internet for personal reasons during working hours, resulting in lost productivity. Several recent studies have shown that browsing the internet actually increases employee performance. It can also boost productivity in some circumstances by providing employees with a short break so they can recover their concentration. By ... You can test positive for COVID-19 after a vaccine—but that doesn’t mean the shots don’t work. Use encryption and passwords to protect both work and personal data. The trouble here is that, in some workplaces, employees are required to use social media to promote their company or products to do something for the employer. Take a break but keep your job. Register; Sign In; Go Online Papers. As the years go by, it’s harder and harder to remember how we ever survived without it. Within professions that use computers, … For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. An effective internet and email policy that helps employees understand what is expected of them regarding how they use their devices for work is a must for employers and employees. Alex: What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about personal internet use at work? The parameters for computer use at work (and even at home) are often confusing. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. A clear distinction needs to be made between work use and personal use. In our age, there is more and more task-oriented work so whenever you have different tasks, you have periods of time when you are inactive and there is no work. 116 views; Shares; Tweets; Shares; Facebook Messenger; Pins; Shares; Email … An effective internet and email policy that helps employees understand what is expected of them regarding how they use their devices for work is a must for employers and employees. The employee may need to use such websites for work-related purposes. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. If you ban social media and personal e-mail, you can actually hurt your company as an employer. While employees slip personal online activities into their work time, their work may also be encroaching on their personal lives. We posit that higher workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater opportunities for personal Internet use. How do you measure productivity in digitalized work spaces? 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