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Internet usage in the workplace

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday March 1, 2008 )

Still working a day job for a boss while you’re working on building up your online business? The temptation can be to do a bit of work for your own business on your boss’s dime – but be careful, you may be caught out.

While only a couple of states in the USA require companies to detail their monitoring and surveillance of employees to employees, over 80 percent of companies monitor employees online usage anyway and a staggering 58 percent of companies said they’ve fired employees for such violations according to an article on E-commerce Times.

The last time I worked within the bricks and mortar corporate world – a “real” job so to speak, we had Internet usage policies, but monitoring was still pretty lax unless your computer experienced problems and needed to go to the tech guys.

As I was involved with an IT project as part of my job, I’d often be in the IT dungeon as the techs worked on cantankerous PC’s and their favorite past-time was to see what the employee had been doing – it was a form of legal voyeurism. I’d often hear “Hey Michael, guess what X has been up to!” It gave me a whole new perspective on some of my peers; stuff I would have rather not known about.

While the USA has the First Amendment, that doesn’t come into play in these situations when it comes to private employers as federal law allows private companies to monitor all activity that takes place on a company’s computer system – and that includes a work computer taken home and also telecommuters who access a company’s network from their personal home computer. I’m assuming the latter only really covers communications sent via company systems and activity connected with the system itself.

Companies also have a right to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward personal communications at work.

It’s something to bear in mind when working for “da man” and you’re tempted to go and check out how things are going with your own online business, or to shoot off a few emails to your own customers.

Read more of “Every Click You Make


2 comments for Internet usage in the workplace
  1. Thank you for this piece of advice – it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

    Comment by Louis — March 1, 2008 @ 8:36 am

  2. hehe.. I am new to this IT solutions company and just heard that someone was caught doing side business on the company’s business just to earn more.. He was filed for bridge of contract.. tsk.. tsk..
    Money makes the world go round.. ;)

    Comment by Joy — March 7, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

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