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Employee Internet Usage

By Derek Schauland Contributor ·
I am sure this has been discussed a thousand times, but I was unable to find anything in a search.

I was looking for some insight to employee internet use. We do not filter the Internet to block sites, but have recently taken the Internet away from some users for over use.

I think the Internet is a great tool, but do not want it to get in the way of a job.

I am also not sure how to handle the IT vs. Others argument... are job requirements enough to point out that IT uses the Internet for their job both to learn/research and for testing.

I am not sure where to draw the line on use to provide a bench mark to gain management support.

Any thoughts would be appreciated...

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What exactly are you looking for?

by cmiller5400 In reply to Employee Internet Usage

What exactly are you looking to do would be my question.

I agree that IT will need to have a little more leeway than a normal user, but that does not give them the right to use it as they see fit. An analogy I use would be: they have supervisor access to a server and can see everyone's files, but it does not mean they have the right to look at them.

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Idea of how to handle issues

I am trying to get an idea as to how others handle these issues. I agree with the right to see files but knowing enough not to look at them, that is a good analogy...

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Need to know basis

by jmgarvin In reply to Employee Internet Usage

The best bet is to write in something in your tech use policy that boils down to if IT needs to know, we're gonna break in.

You'll probably have to make a couple passes through legal, but it's pretty boiler plate stuff and most places have a clear policy on what IT does and will only do it if they have to. This protects both the user and IT.

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What I'd like to see.

by TonytheTiger In reply to Employee Internet Usage

It may seem like you have to have all these policies, with the accompanying technology, and headaches associated with enforcement, but think about this.

Instead of focusing in internet use, why not focus on performance issues. You probably already have something in place to deal with that. Treat excessive internet abuse exactly the same as excessive personal phone usage or excessive time spent at the water cooler that interferes with the employees' performance.

Of course, you'll have to have a few new rules, to cover illegal activity, or activity that would cause embarrassment to the company, and you'll want to take steps to block out obviously offensive sites, as well as potentially dangerous ones (spy-ware), but I think you'll be ahead to minimize them. The less time you spend policing, the more time you'll have to do things that add to the quality of your company's products and services.

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One thing I'd like to emphasize

by jck In reply to What I'd like to see.

Tony mentions performance.

If an employee suffers no performance issues in accomplishing tasks...should they be limited?

I say no. I think that if you have an overachiever who wants to go read his external emails, let him/her.

Of course, have A/V in place and all to prevent infections and disallow certain files to be saved on machines (MP3s and huge jpegs eat up drives) or large bandwidth connections (large content streaming eats up your network).

But, I really think to punish an employee who performs above and beyond is wrong. And, making them sit idle and lose interest is another thing.

****. I have been waiting on my boss to go over my software package for 4 hours now, because he's too busy with other things. Which is more wasteful? Me posting here? Or waiting on him?

Do well by your good staff...and eliminate the bad staff. If someone works hard and overachieves...give them little bonuses like unlimited internet access. It actually will help. It shows you trust them and their work ethic.

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Another thing...

by TonytheTiger In reply to One thing I'd like to emp ...

Managers: Don't over-depend on technology to monitor the performance of your employees. In personnel matters, a little face-to-face can often give you more information than a dozen reams of reports.

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Employee internet use

by steph In reply to Employee Internet Usage

Hi Derek, I would check out They have some great resources on AUP's and information on how to monitor employees web usage. There are also some great white papers with some information you might find useful. Visit And check out their blogg as well..

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