The latest issue of PC World reports that companies are cracking down on the personal use of the Internet at work. The article argues that valuable networking bandwidth can be eaten up by employees surfing the web for personal pleasure or information. Also, there are potential legal problems if employees visit pornographic sites, for instance. But there are several reasons why employees should be allowed to use the Internet for personal reasons. One reason is that recent research shows that employees who are allowed to use the Internet at work for personal reasons are more productive than employees banned from such use. Also, employees allowed to use the Internet are more positive in their attitudes towards work. However, there is another important reason – which many big businesses are failing to realise – the boundary between work and personal life is eroding. Social networking sites, for instance, are used to talk about work and non-work. Such sites have real value for big business. By preventing employees from taking part in such activities means companies will lose out. Once again, we’re seeing how traditional business doesn’t understand the Internet and is failing to look at the psychological implications of their decisions.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+