Situation: A CEO notes that the company’s employees surf the Internet during work – some excessively so. The CEO has visited other companies and noted very different behavior around surfing. Does your company monitor or manage employee Internet use? How do you manage Internet use by employees?
Advice from the CEOs:
- The first question to ask is whether your company culture allows or does not allow surfing during work.
- Do you want it to or not?
- Based on your desires for the company’s culture, set a policy that works for you.
- If you want to more tightly control surfing, look at Surf Control software which allows you to create surfing rules, and allocate time allowed to surf.
- Create and communicate your policy. It’s OK to let employees know that you’re not comfortable with what you’ve observed and that it’s time to set boundaries.
- Act quickly, keep the message positive – for now – but make clear the consequences of inappropriate behavior in the future.
- Don’t create double standards. Furthermore, a free-for-all atmosphere is corrosive.
- Once you set your policy, if it is necessary to deal with a chronic and unresponsive offender, let everyone know what action you’ve taken and why.
- Different companies around the table have created varying policies consistent with their cultures.
- Company 1: Surfing during breaks and lunch is OK, as long as sites are appropriate.
- Company 2: Surfing is OK – on your time and with our equipment – as long as you ask.
- Company 3: As long as you are productive, we don’t monitor your surfing. Caveat: it is important to define and measure what is meant by “productive.”