Computers and Internet access were originally brought into the workplace to allow greater work capacity with lowered costs. To some extent the Internet has led to the opposite in the American workplace. Internet misuse is the #1 cause for productivity decrease in the offices without surveillance software, or any kind of Internet monitoring software.
Occasional browsing is fine during lunch hours and coffee breaks but too much time spent on non-official internet browsing shouldn't be acceptable. Internet misuse is not only the reason of productivity decrease, it is also the reason for companies lost profits. In a study conducted by Websense Inc., it was found that Internet misuse at the office costs U.S. businesses more than $63 billion in lost profits per year. That's why more and more companies prefer to monitor employee Internet usage.
How to monitor employee Internet usage?
1. Establish a computer and Internet usage policy
You don't have to reinvent the wheel here. Just find some examples on the Internet, read best practices and modify a document that suits your company best.
2. Install content-control software
This software is designed to restrict or control the content a user is authorized to access. It is the easiest way to restrict access to websites which have absolutely no relation to work or may be harmful for the computer. This way you will never have to worry about viruses or time-wasting activities.
You can set the software to be as liberal or strict as you'd like.
3. Consider using Internet-monitoring software
The simplest way to monitor employee Internet usage is to use time tracking software. Most of the modern time tracking applications allow to monitor Internet usage along with regular time tracking.
With the help of a time tracking system, managers can keep the Internet usage under control. Many companies use social networks for promotion and advertising, it would be foolish to restrict access to such a powerful advertising tool.
However, employees may abuse the free access to social networks. Therefore using time tracking software you will know if someone spends too much time on Facebook.
Will employees go against Internet monitoring?
Studies have proven that as long as employees know that their workplaces are being monitored and they are allowed a certain amount of Internet time daily, employees do not find Internet usage monitoring to be invasive or oppressive.
Using time tracking software is also beneficial for employees. Most of the time tracking systems allow to determine the time spent on a task or project. So they can increase their productivity and improve their time-management skills.