How to Enforce an Internet Culture at Work
It’s safe to assume that you want your staff to be more productive and efficient when at work. It may also be safe to assume that you’ve seen your employees waste a lot of time on the internet when they should be working instead. They’ll waste time on Facebook, stream movies on Netflix, order stuff off of Amazon, and they might even be on Monster.com looking for another job (on your dime).
As a matter of fact, studies show that around 64% of employees waste an average of 2-hours a day on non-work-related websites every day. That’s 25% of their workday if they work the typical 8-hour shift!
So if you’re looking to get your employees back to work, follow these three simple steps:
The easiest way to boost productivity is by enforcing content filtering, which involves placing limitations on which websites your employees are allowed to visit and when. The best part is, you probably already have the tool you need to do this! Your firewall, which is typically used to set rules on what’s allowed to enter or leave your network, will most likely have a content filtering management tool for you to block certain websites, popular messaging and chat applications, game applications, and to set security options to disable certain online activities.
If you don’t have a firewall, you have bigger problems to worry about.
Implement a Computer Usage Policy
If you don’t feel comfortable blocking user internet access, another option would be to create a Computer Usage Policy, which you would review with and have all employees sign. This should also be a part of the onboarding paperwork when you bring on a new employee.
An effective Computer Usage Policy will clearly outline which websites they can and cannot visit during business hours, what they can and cannot download, email best practices, and computer misuse policies. Even with all of this, you need to clearly outline the disciplinary action that you will take if an employee violates the policy, which needs to be strictly enforced and consistent across all departments. They need to understand that their computer and internet access is the property of the company, and should only be used for work-related purposes.
Setting Password Controls
The third, and probably easiest, way to limit internet access is by setting password-level controls. Think of it as setting parental controls for your children at home. This process includes assigning each employee to a specific network user group with preset rules and limitations based on their log-in passwords, which would carry over no matter which computer they use. This would be a great strategy if you have some employees that share computers in the office.