Where I work we have a very strict internet access policy where you have to fill a form justifying your need for internet access and get it recommended by your boss and approved by the department head. The security gurus in the IT department then go through the application and decide your level of access before setting you up. Even then the access is regulated by an industrial strenghth filter called WebSense which blocks access to web-based email sites, online shopping sites, entertainment sites, blogs, chat rooms, discussion forums, etc etc. Despite that, and particularly WebSense's slogan "Securing Productivity". I'd be lying if said that I have never wasted time online at work. It's just that instead of wasting time on OmanForum, it's BusinessWeek.com or Google News. It's amazing how when you're left with no options for deviating from work, you'd still find ways out no matter how boring they are.
So I was over at the Emirates Economist blog yesterday and read a very interesting post about this very same topic. A few snippets from articles quoted in his his post:
Jobseekers will think twice about employers who lock down work internet access, a senior Microsoft executive said today.However,
“These kids are saying: forget it! I don’t want to work with you. I don’t want to work at a place where I can’t be freely online during the day,” said Anne Kirah, Microsoft Senior Design Anthropologist.
About one-quarter of employee terminations are due to misuse of workplace Internet privileges, according to a recent survey. In a case that gained attention earlier this year, a New York administrative law judge found Internet use no worse than using the phone or reading a newspaper at work.And:
Of the 2,700 people quizzed in the unscientific survey, 52 percent said they wasted more time online than any other way. (The survey, by the way, was conducted online, and some responded: "I waste my time filling out surveys like this.")Hope you're not reading this at work.