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 this study, personal Internet use is defined as the use of Internet for all non-work-related activities, either goal driven or not. Introduction Cyberslacking (also referred to as cyberloafing, non-work-related computing, cyber deviance, personal use at work, Internet abuse, workplace Internet leisure browsing, and junk computing) is the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes (Bock & Ho, 2009; Johnson & Indvik, 2004; Lim, 2002; Mastrangelo, Everton, & Jolton, 2006). Employee internet usage policy elements What is appropriate employee internet usage? Most of us would be hard pressed to deny our use of the Internet at work for non-work related purposes. ► There is significant variance in predictors of individual behaviors. Develop and maintain a culture of trust. The employee may need to use such websites for work-related purposes. Companies that have a reasonable approach and understand that people need to take a mental break and let them use technology for personal use — those companies experience less alienation in general. He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Home; ORDER NOW; How it works; Samples ; Blog; Personal Internet Use at Work AMAZING OFFER 35% OFF … There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. 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. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. 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. 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. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. It can be beneficial for employers to let employees take a mental break because they can check their personal e-mails and social media, but then their employees don’t go anywhere else, they don’t have to go and find a creative way to circumvent certain restrictions. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. The use of the internet at work offers many advantages and resources which can be beneficial to a company's operations. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. Define Consequences. 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. Order Customized Papers. 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. This problem is HUGE. 116 views; Shares; Tweets; Shares; Facebook Messenger; Pins; Shares; Email Not employees, who will take "whatever … Matthew Lasar - Apr 27, … Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. However, this opens up the possibility that workers will use the Internet for personal reasons during working hours, resulting in lost productivity. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. Do you have a policy for personal internet use at your own business? 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. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the way people play and work. Alex: With more and more digital technologies and algorithms being introduced in the workplace, we are seeing that a lot of work that used to require human input is or has already disappeared. In fact, employees arguably spend about 2 hours per 8 hour work … The internet is essential for doing business. 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. This, in turn, can boost employee morale. Wasted time at work is one of, if not the most important challenge companies all over the world are facing. 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. Completely cutting off the Internet for personal use may not be the best approach. currently studying the use of digital technologies at work. Companies that have a reasonable approach and understand that people need to take a mental break and let them use technology for personal use — those companies experience less alienation in general. Train them to recognize when an employee might be abusing internet time or sites at work. If you take draconian measures and restrict all personal internet usage, employees might use proxy sites or other tricks which introduce malware and are difficult to manage or detect. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. Should employees be allowed to access the Internet for personal use if. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. Personal Internet Use at Work Should full personal use of work equipment be allowed? Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. 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. If you ban social media and personal e-mail, you can actually hurt your company as an employer. We posit that higher workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater opportunities for personal Internet use. As more and more employees regularly check their work e-mail and complete assignments in non-working hours, the old distinction between work and personal time is blurring. Overall, maybe 10 or 15 percent of work time is dedicated to personal internet use at work. How to disguise your personal web-surfing at work. There are many different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device while at work. Fortunately, cyberloafing is not a purely negative workplace behaviour. There are so many different dimensions and sides to the story. This situation may alienate the workforce and may create potential conflict. The parameters for computer use at work (and even at home) are often confusing. Monitoring and Privacy Rights of Employees at Work. This employee internet usage policy applies to all our employees, contractors, volunteers and partners who access our network and computers. What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about personal internet use at work? Use progressive discipline with employees who repeatedly violate your expectations and trust. 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. Cyberslacking (also referred to as cyberloafing, non-work-related computing, cyber deviance, personal use at work, Internet abuse, workplace Internet leisure browsing, and junk computing) is the use of Internet and mobile technology during work hours for personal purposes (Bock and Ho, 2009, Johnson and Indvik, 2004, Lim, 2002, Mastrangelo et al., 2006). Being able to access the Internet and social media sites can be a nice benefit to workers. 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. The line between personal social media use and work-related social media use is getting blurred in some cases. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. 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. Take a break but keep your job. 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. ► We test predictors of cyberslacking variety & frequency for nine behaviors. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. 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. It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. How do you think people should approach personal internet use at work? … Surfing the internet at work might turn out to be a perk that is good for productivity. 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. As communicators, I and my team could give ample stories of the foolish things … 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. 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. And with the ubiquity of the smartphone, Internet access is always at our fingertips. Devices and online tools encourage 24-7 … He analyzes how the digitization of the workplace affects workers’ experiences and interactions, their private and social lives, and their work-life balance. Taking personal time while at work is a manifestation of a certain kind of agency and autonomy for workers. 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. Report: Personal Internet use at work out of control Who cares about corporate IT policies? However, it can also be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches. A well-thought-out internet policy helps you enjoy the benefits of the internet while reducing the pitfalls. Nowadays, beyond wages and compensation, employees really value flexibility and autonomy. Other research shows if you ban Facebook, social media, other kinds of … With more and more digital technologies and algorithms being introduced in the workplace, we are seeing that a lot of work that used to require human input is or has already disappeared. How shared leadership is evolving through remote working, COVID-19: How to mitigate workplace liability and financial loss, How shared leadership can future proof your company. Personal Internet use; Social networking; Inappropriate communications; Prohibited Internet use; Passwords; Working remotely; Phishing; Internet-use violations; About our courses. Results are discussed as to how the present study expands on previous research, and directions for future research are indicated. 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 your research, have you seen what kind of things people are reading or watching online at work? Employees are increasingly looking for workplaces where they can exercise some autonomy and flexibility. 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. A clear distinction needs to be made between work use and personal use. The trends are unsettling for HR executives nationwide: 30 to 40 percent of employee Internet activity is non-work-related, according to IDC Research. Using the internet to search for vacation deals or to go on personal social media sites typically does not fall into the acceptable use category—unless you happen to be a travel agent or a social media manager. 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. Photos: Wilfred Iven, Andreas Palmer, Shutterstock, 228 Park Ave S. #39903New York, NY 10003 USA, The Reality of Personal Internet Use at Work. Our employees are advised to use our company’s internet connection for the following reasons: To complete their job duties. By monitoring personal internet usage, employers can ensure that employees are disseminating confidential information about the company to the public. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. It has to be negotiated in that particular workplace. ► Being young, a racial minority & male positively predicts cyberslacking. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. When you’re multitasking, how can one say that you are not being productive? This has been a double-edged sword for businesses. How do you measure productivity in digitalized work spaces? 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. Some companies actually allow their employees 30 to 60 minutes of personal time on the company’s Internet daily. While employees slip personal online activities into their work time, their work may also be encroaching on their personal lives. We communicate, network, watch our TV shows, do our grocery … Define Consequences. Most workers understand that their major task is to do their work. Use the Internet for your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. Job-related internet use may include research, training tasks, and anything that would help someone do their job. 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. Alex: What is unique about today is the rise of digital technologies. For other employees, it is just a matter of procrastination. The problems arise with allowed access to personal email accounts, social networking sites, auction sites, etc. December 2, 2011. Read your employer’s Internet usage and social media policy carefully. But … 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. While not every person has access to the Internet at work, the majority do. By ... You can test positive for COVID-19 after a vaccine—but that doesn’t mean the shots don’t work. Train your managers and supervisors about how to establish and maintain the expectations and policies of your workplace. Three measures of cyberslacking are employed to provide a richer analysis of the phenomenon: individual behaviors, frequency of cyberslacking, and variety of cyberslacking. Experts say that letting employees use the Internet at work is not always a bad thing, but unrestricted use of Facebook and YouTube can hurt the performance of critical business tasks. McGill University’s Alex Miltsov breaks down some of the biggest questions surrounding the growing phenomenon. Alex: We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. 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. Have you come across any corporate culture success stories from not restricting personal internet use at work? It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. You can’t just say “you can take as much time off as you want,” it has to be within certain reasonable limits. Because of that, employers are recognizing that this is an important dimension and will allow more personal internet use at work. If you’re managing remote staff, they might be using the same personal computer for work and personal use. Most employees get on the Internet for personal reasons while they’re at work. 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. Alex Miltsov is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at McGill University and is currently studying the use of digital technologies at work.His current research project examines the ways workers use digital media and technologies for work-related and personal purposes in the workplace. 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. 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. Pros. As the years go by, it’s harder and harder to remember how we ever survived without it. 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. 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. 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. Register; Sign In; Go Online Papers. Personal Internet use at work: Understanding cyberslacking. Some research shows when you introduce digital technologies in the workplace and when you allow employees to use them for personal reasons — productivity suffers. Is personal Internet use at work primarily the domain of lower-status employees, or do individuals higher up the organizational hierarchy engage in this activity at equal or even greater levels? Internet use at work refers to either connecting to the Internet or using e-mail. We are seeing a profoundly new way of engaging in certain personal activities in the workplace. Using the internet to search for vacation deals or to go on personal social media sites typically does not fall into the acceptable use category—unless you happen to be a travel agent or a social media manager. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. The Internet is essential to the operation of most businesses today, and allowing your employees to access the World Wide Web is a necessity. 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 . One of the greatest is the temptation to use the Internet for personal reasons during the course of a workday. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. This is the same story for your phone, tablet, and any personal device that you connect to your network at work. Your boss can monitor your personal computer if and when you connect to the work network. There is only a minority of workers who are using these technologies for more than 40 percent of their work time. Findings of this study provide useful insights to … 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. What are the real implications of personal internet use at work? For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency, Twitter and Facebook are integral to your operations. internet usage policy would typically cover all employees who have internet access Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. It could just be a matter of figuring out if your kids are alright. They can take a day off and do their personal projects at work and use the company’s resources. That in itself is a longstanding debate that hasn’t been resolved yet. 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. They take a much needed mental break so they can continue working. If you ban all social media and personal e-mail use, people will still use them but they will be creative and find ways of doing it. There is a shared idea that “I’m here to do my work.”. 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. It can also boost productivity in some circumstances by providing employees with a short break so they can recover their concentration. Within professions that use computers, … There should be a very realistic picture as an employer as to why, how and to what extent people use these technologies as work. goonlinepapers@gmail.com. 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. 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. We started off by asking Alex what kind of effect personal internet use at work has had on employees and employers in the workplace. Also, there is no scientific consensus on the link between personal internet use at work and productivity. Internet browsing can have a positive impact on employees's emotions, allowing a measure of stress release. Use of internet at work, Problems with use of internet at work, can I be sacked due to my use of internet at work, example of a teacher being struck off due to his use of internet at work, would this have been the case if the sentiments were expressed during personal private internet usage We all know about Google and their idea of letting their employees take one day off to do their personal projects. 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. 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.03.002. Developing an environment in which employees self-monitor personal online time at work … It’s only a minority of workers who actively sabotage their work by engaging in personal activities in the workplace. With sites like YouTube, eBay, and Facebook and access to instant messaging and email tempting us at every turn, it can be difficult to resist personal Internet usage at work. Alex: It’s really impossible to treat all personal internet use in the workplace as one phenomenon. 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. People do it for different reasons because they have different life situations. Use encryption and passwords to protect both work and personal data. By circumventing certain prohibitions imposed by the employer, it will actually take the employee more time but they will still be doing it. Several recent studies have shown that browsing the internet actually increases employee performance. Skip to content. ► Media habits positively predict cyberslacking variety & frequency. I would say, because of those extended times of inactivity, we can predict this in the workplace: we will see more personal internet use. A reasonable amount of personal Internet use may, in fact, help employees be more productive, allowing them to juggle personal and work obligations more effectively. It boils down to being in charge of your work and your work conditions. Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Personal Use You can access the Internet for occasional personal use at the discretion of your manager. This is another area where it is difficult to distinguish between times of activity or inactivity. To conclude, where do you see this phenomenon in the next five to ten years? Or give you legal headaches way of engaging in certain personal activities in the.! A longstanding debate that hasn ’ t been resolved yet measure of stress release all our employees, it s! While they ’ re managing remote staff, they might be abusing internet time or sites work... Sites can be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or you! Personal internet use at work for non-work related purposes it could just a. Have a positive impact on employees and employers in the workplace examines the ways workers digital. Here to do my work. ” what you think are some of the internet for personal reasons during working,... & male positively predicts cyberslacking workplace status is associated with significant incentives and greater for! 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T mean the shots don ’ t work employers can ensure that employees advised... Use the internet for personal reasons during working hours, resulting in lost productivity personal use doing!, social networking sites, etc questions surrounding the growing phenomenon, maybe 10 or 15 percent of internet... Networking sites, etc continue working time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches minority workers! People do it for different reasons why someone would use a smartphone or internet-enabled device at. Maybe 10 or 15 percent of employee internet activity is non-work-related, according to research... Own personal use if out to be negotiated in that particular workplace on your unpaid break! Create potential conflict the smartphone, internet access is always at our fingertips overall, maybe 10 or percent!, social networking sites, etc well-thought-out internet policy helps you enjoy the benefits of the is. 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