Your staff is stealing from you.

 

Problem: Stealing Company Time

  It's 9 a.m. on a gloomy Monday morning. Kevin, a young motivated man sits at his office desk. He sighs as he slowly looks up and over his cubicle. It's pretty depressing outside he thinks. He awkwardly glances over at the paperwork he needs to enter into the computer for the upcoming week. He mutters to himself how much he would rather be doing ANYTHING else other than working. Reluctanly he starts hammering at the keyboard. Punching in the URL of the website he normal uses for work. Wait.... something sparks him to pauses. He then whispers, "Well.. a few minutes of car videos on YouTube can't hurt.  Now Kevin is grinning ear to ear, no one is in the office yet. Hell no one will probably even come into today since the weather is crappy! With 3 effortless clicks Kevin is now glued to a 39 minute video on the top 10 performance cars of 2016. Kevin is now stealing 39 minutes of company time.

   Using technology for entertainment and morale boosting is not the problem. The problem is when employees waste company time surfing the web, watching videos, and checking their fantasy football roster when they are suppose to be doing the job you hired them for. This is an issue inside many large corporate environments and small businesses throughout the U.S. Check out this quote from Forbes.


“There are many activities employees do that waste time at work. Excessive meetings, co-worker interactions, office politics, and fixing mistakes are a few. According to a recent Salary.com survey, one of the biggest culprits is surfing the Internet.

According to the survey, a majority of employees regularly spend time surfing the Internet on websites unrelated to work. Because “time is money,” every hour wasted has a direct negative impact on the bottom line.

Specifically, the survey revealed 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39 percent spend one hour or less per week, 29 percent spend 2 hours per week, 21 percent waste five hours per week, and only 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more doing unrelated activities. (My experience as a CEO tells me these figures are probably underestimated.)”

Conner, Cheryl “Employees Really Do Waste Time at Work” Article. http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2012/07/17/employees-really-do-waste-time-at-work/#2cd5b6082412. Forbes JUL 17, 2012 @ 04:24 PM. SEPT 28, 2016 Assessed


  Employees often visit sites that have no business on a company computer and could cause the owner of the company legal headaches and virus problems. Lack of oversight and monitoring is developing into a massive problem in the small business community.


There can be several reasons in favor of monitoring. First, it can help your company from theft or other harm. Monitoring can also help affirm compliance with regulations, secure evidence in case of lawsuits and ensure the workplace is free of harassment.

At least two thirds of companies monitor and half have fired employees for Web and email infractions, according to research by Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute, a Columbus, Ohio, training and consulting firm.

Richmond, Riva. Tips for Legally and Ethically Monitoring Employees Online” Article. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223686 . Entrepreneur.  MAY 31, 2012. SEPT 28, 2016 Assessed


Solution: Take a deliberative approach

1. Have a written computer use policy w/acknowledge form

A written policy should inform your staff of the proper use of company computer equipment and set the expectations of use. Check out this template of the policy we give our clients when they sign up for our web protection service.

 

2. Purchase web filtering software for business

Owners and managers can also purchase, install and configure there own web filtering service.

 

3. Contact your I.T. company

Your I.T. company should be able to present a solution that meets your needs. Here at L&N Technologies we provide web protection services as well.

Our services

  • Affordable and can be canceled at anytime
  • Include quick and hassle free install w/ immediate protection
  • Allow management to monitor employee usage through easy to read reports
  • Charged per computer at only $5/month
  • Can be used on mobile devices

Here are a few example of active web protection

A small notification tells the user the website they are trying to view is blocked.
  This is the messaged display to the user via the web browser

This is the messaged display to the user via the web browser

 

Benefit:  Employee engagement and honest time usage  

Properly monitoring and protecting your company's computers is a great way to keep your employees gainfully employed, while keeping your computers safe. What web protection is NOT:

  • A way to snoop on employees.
  • Collector of personal information.

What web protection is:

  • A way to maintain a healthy work environment.
  • A method to aid in keeping employees accountable for their actions.
  • A deterrent from employees misusing company paid internet.
  • A tool to help prevent employees from viewing pornographic and hate related material.

Here is a sample report of a few key monitoring areas in our web protection service. Notice we don't collect ANY personnel information:


Employee time theft is of concern to every business owner. There are many time management apps that optimize employee time usage. Maximizing employee time with well laid out processes and tools is vital to a businesses success. Processes ensure employees follow detailed protocols without squandering time deliberating how to proceed. Blocking unproductive sites, and restricting internet usage with system alerting saves valuable man hours. 

CONCLUSION

  As we can see there is a lot of time spent on websites that offer no substance to the work the employee is performing. Web Protection can also be deployed on a schedule that allows employees to visit social media and entertainment sites during specific times. Normally our clients allow employees to visit these sites during their lunch break.

  At the end of the day the internet is a tool. This tool comes with the responsibility to be monitored and enforced by management to ensure it isn't misused. What's your thoughts? Comment below about sites you have observed employees or co-workers looking at in the work place. 


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Marquis Garrett is the Owner and CEO of L&N Technologies, one of  D.C. areas leading I.T. and cabling contractors. Marquis is a veteran of the U.S. Air force.

Follow L&N Technologies on Twitter @lntech_llc