Organisations of all sizes have taken to controlling what their employees can access in order to conserve computing resources, keep their employees focused 100 percent on the work they were hired to do and to make sure employees performance is high and as productive as possible (Cyberoam, n.d.).
However, keeping employees motivated and productive is not as simple as simply restricting specific access to internet resources and computer controls.
There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to controlling said access (CCM, 2017).
- Keep employees focused on work related tasks and material
- Conserve internet bandwidth organisation-wide
- Restrictions can prevent viruses and/or malware from intruding the company network
- Prevent access to certain resources so that employees can not mistakenly give away private/confidential company/client information
- Employees are not robots and need some downtime, even while on the job
- Shifting focus to other tasks can provide alternative insight to an employee when they do return to work tasks
- Creating an enjoyable and relaxed work atmosphere can make employees want to contribute more and do so more frequently
There are many ways to block access to various internet sites and/or the ability for a computer to access some sites.
- Creating a whitelist of all acceptable websites that can be visited while on the company network
- Creating a blacklist of all unacceptable websites that can be visited while on the company network
- Having software installed on each employees computer to monitor how much time is spent using specific online resources
There are studies done on the best ways to motivate employees and it has been found to be better if an employee is judged and measured on their overall output when determining performance and productivity (Susan M. Heathfield, 2017). As opposed to the amount of time they spent working on a task. Each person is unique and should therefore not be ring-fenced with one another.
If an individual works at a higher level if they browse the internet from time to time, or otherwise, then that is what should matter to the organisation.
It is becoming more common for employees to take on remote working roles, specifically in the field of Information Technology. This has additional challenges on an organisation that is overly concerned about monitoring it’s staff’s daily habits. As in most instances, these employees connect from private networks that are not monitored in the same fashion as traditional office spaces.
Once again, determining an employee by their output is most definitely recommended, and also contributes towards them wanting to be more performant.
Employee morale is vitally important to maintaining a low staff turnover and keeping knowledge in the workplace.
Cyberoam (n.d.) Managing Corporate Internet Access [Online] Cyberoam.com, Available from: https://www.cyberoam.com/downloads/Whitepaper/Managing-Corporate-Internet-Access.pdf (Accessed on 3rd September 2017)
CCM (2017) How to limit internet access to users? [Online] CCM.net, Available from: http://ccm.net/faq/1813-how-to-limit-internet-access-to-users#how-do-i-monitor-employees-or-limit-their-access-to-the-internet (Accessed on 3rd September 2017)
Susan M. Heathfield (2017) How Great Managers Motivate Their Employees [Online] TheBalance.com, Available from: https://www.thebalance.com/how-great-managers-motivate-their-employees-1918772 (Accessed on 4rd September 2017)