In Salary.com’s survey of over 2,500 employees, nearly ½ of the group admitted to wasting 1-3 hours every day on the web surfing non-related activities. With all of the pressures that you face as a business owner, especially in this economy, you simply cannot afford to have this kind of non-productive activity going on in your company.
If even ONE employee in your company is spending ONE hour surfing the web instead of doing what they should be doing, it is impacting your bottom line. Add to that the fact that many employees reduce productivity for your whole staff when they peruse the web because their activity slows your company’s Internet speed way down… (If you’ve ever gotten frustrated because your Internet all of a sudden slowed to a halt…a time-wasting employee may be the cause)… and you’ve got a recipe for losing money without even realizing it.
So, other than looking over each employee’s shoulder every hour of every day, how do you even know if this is going on in your business? And if it is going on, how do you stop it? Check out these tips for help:
(1) Determine Your Rules – Figuring out what websites are actually productive for your business will help to prevent or eliminate any wasted web time. For example, many companies ban job searching sites for obvious reasons; they don’t want their employees finding another job on the company’s dime. However, if your company places job postings online, then you would WANT your admin to have access to those sites so he/she could post the ads for you. Social media is another example. If you do any marketing through sites like MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter, then your employees would need access to that, too.
(2) Get An Internet Usage Audit – Any reputable IT company should have tools available to be able to report on your employee’s Internet activity, most times without the employee even knowing. This can give you an insight into who in your organization (if anyone) is the biggest culprit and how much productivity loss you currently have in your company.
(3) Have An Internet Filtering System Installed – Sounds complicated…but it’s not. Typically, a piece of hardware or software is installed on your network and its job is to block any specific websites or categories of websites (all shopping sites, for example). There are literally dozens of different models and pricing structures for these devices. The most basic ones allow you to control the types of websites your employees can visit by blocking them altogether. There are other models, though, that for basically the same price point allow you to control the things they can or cannot download, and the speed at which they are allowed to access certain sites. You can also control which activities get the highest Internet speeds (for example, payroll website) and which sites will only work if no other work-related functions are happening at the same time. (for example, iTunes downloads)
Daniel A. FitzGerald
Owner & President