Establishing an Internet Block: Why it Doesn’t Work in Business
Over the past several years, business owners and managers have seen an increasing lack of productivity on the part of their employees due to misuse of the Internet during the workday. Although there are undoubtedly advantages to providing employees with Internet access in order to more easily accomplish work-related tasks, there is a danger that goes along with that access, and that is the temptation on the part of employees to use the Internet for personal use during business hours.
It’s understandable that many employers have chosen to establish an Internet block in order to prevent their employees from visiting certain websites on their work computers. Some business owners and managers believe this is the best way to address a lack of employee productivity.
How to Block a Website
Like many business managers, you may be wondering how to block a website. Blocking access to certain websites is easily accomplished through use of Internet blocking or surfing control programs. One popular method groups together websites in different categories, then controls traffic at the firewall. It’s then up to management to decide which categories of websites their employees will have access to and which they’ll be prohibited from visiting. Although these programs are effective at blocking categories of websites, they’re completely ineffective at resolving the problem of low productivity.
Blocking is Not the Solution
If employees had access to only their work computers each day, blocking Internet sites would probably work. But the fact is that employees have many different ways of accessing the Internet throughout the course of each day. Whether it’s a notepad an employee carries with her in a handbag or a smart phone that another employee has clipped on his belt, your employees can access the Internet—and whatever websites they choose—at any time during the workday.
This means that you may spend a good deal of money to purchase an Internet blocking program that simply does not solve the problem. The truth is that if your employees are interested in wasting time during work hours, they will find a way to do so one way or another. Not only that, but it’s extremely difficult to avoid blocking websites that are actually beneficial to your business. By using Internet blocking software, you may end up creating more problems than you solve.
Taking a Positive Approach
Rather than addressing the problem, why not encourage a solution? Instead of restricting access to undesirable sites, why not measure the amount of time each employee is engaged in productive activity? Employers need to find a way to measure the amount of productive time each employee spends on the job, then find an effective means of motivating each person to increase his or her productive time. Taking this sort of positive approach is the only real solution.
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