According to a survey, more than 60% of men and women admitted to engaging in employees’ non-work internet activities. The topic of internet misuse in the workplace is extensive. Besides, it always involves all web activity that causes problems to an organization. 

 Employees’ non-work internet activities can be about accessing websites that don’t align with your organizational policy. It can also involve the viewing of online content that raises ethical questions. 

 Sometimes, the visited site might be harmless. Even so, an employee might visit the website so often that it affects productivity. As you progress, you’ll learn about employees’ non-work internet activities and how HR can deal with them.

non work internet activities
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Employees Non-Work Internet Activities

Today, the internet has become a significant tool for many business operations. So, internet misuse at work can bring about several negative effects on the organization. 

For instance, employees’ non-work internet activities can impact their morale and overall productivity. Also, you put your corporate security at risk. Such activities that can be tempting and hard to resist at work include:

  • Gaming
  • Following trends and sports
  • Entertainment 

Most households in the U.S. use about 25 Mbps of download speed. So, when it comes to media streaming, individuals will want to use a high-speed connection like a T-1 line. Usually, you can access such high-speed internet connections in workplace environments.

 It becomes problematic for HR managers when employees spend work hours enjoying non-work media content. This explains the reasons why organizations implement email and internet usage guidelines. 

Consequences of Excessive Employee Non-Work Internet Activities

Employees’ internet misuse at work has become so prevalent recently. Unfortunately, most of them fail to realize the repercussions associated with this practice. Below are some of the impacts of employee non-work internet activities on your company.

Reduced Productivity 

Employees who are distracted by personal web use at work tend to neglect their assigned duties. Although workplace internet use is beneficial, it can be one of your staff’s significant time wasters.

So, you find employees struggling to complete assigned work at the end of the day. In the process, your workers’ performance and productivity levels reduce.

Reduced Business Profitability 

If you keep getting incomplete results from your workers, it becomes hard for the business to attain its goals. This implies that your company won’t be performing at its level best. 

As a result, your profit margins decrease. This will make your organization slag behind. In the worst scenarios, the business will collapse. Remember, your workplace resembles a line of production. So, if one department has a problem, the whole system gets affected.

Low Employee Morale

Employee non-work internet activities can affect your general workplace environment. Some of your employees won’t accomplish their tasks in good time. So, others will have to go the extra mile to meet your deadlines.

With time, the employees working on the extra work will start feeling like they’re performing other people’s duties. This will affect the operations in your corporate environment and reduce employee morale toward the job.

How HR Can Deal With Employees Non-Work Internet Activities

HR plays a significant role in developing and implementing internet policies in your workplace. They must be proactive in designing guidelines for internet access within the company. 

As HR tries to prevent employee productivity issues, they’ll need to be cautious not to create a hostile working environment. Effective workplace discipline is very important. Even so, don’t forget to be human as well. 

Sometimes, work deadlines and schedules might become more demanding. So, your employees will appreciate taking a small break for non-work internet use. The various ways you can deal with employees’ non-work internet activities are outlined below. 

Create a Foolproof Internet and Email Policy

As HR, lay out the organization’s expectations on personal online time during working hours. It’d be best to list the websites and online activities that shouldn’t happen within the corporate environment. Ensure your policies insist on the significance of accountability and professional confidence. 

Discuss the Policies With Your Employees

It’s your duty to ensure these guidelines don’t confuse your employees. You can set up an internal seminar within your company. In this meeting, discuss the created policies with your staff members. 

Also, you can use relevant examples and case scenarios. That way, your employees will better understand what the company expects from them. Employees should also know of disciplinary actions for repeatedly violating the policies.

Build a Culture of Trust

It’d be best to create an enabling environment where employees can track their online time at the workplace. It’ll serve as an effective approach to managing employees’ non-work internet usage. Remember, this approach may not work for all your employees. Sometimes, hardworking staff members may feel saddled with too many policies.

Use Internet Filters To Manage Web Access

Blocking prohibited websites is among the common work strategies for managing internet access. Even so, many companies invest in Enterprise Information Management software solutions nowadays. 

Such a solution helps you balance professional and individual employee internet use. It’ll be helpful to program the software according to your organization’s internet access guidelines. You can customize your EIM software in various ways.

Limiting time

Here, HR professionals allow workers to access non-work websites for a controlled amount of time. For instance, you can set the personal internet surfing time to about 30 minutes. Find a free employee time tracking software to make sure your employees don’t exceed the set time. 

Continue or Defer

With this feature, employees can “defer” non-work internet access until the working hours are over. Alternatively, you can permit your team to “continue” surfing prohibited sites that are work-related.

Customized Access

Customized access lets you give web access by user, group, network, or department. Also, your customized access may vary depending on job functions such as management and accounting.

Final Thoughts

First, create the company’s internet access policies. Afterward, educate your employee on each guideline. HR should apply effective strategies to manage employees’ non-work internet activities. 

While doing that, don’t forget about your overall workforce morale. Even though instilling discipline is important, remember your employees are human beings too. Providing periodic breaks from time to time is equally important.