PCA Poll - Misue of internet

  Sir Radfordin 09:14 24 Apr 2004

Have to say I'm not surprised at the results of this poll so far. What interests me however is that so many people do break the rules.

THe policies I've seen often have fairly harsh penalties (written warnings/ dismisal) for misuse of company systems but in reality most employees don't really know what the policies contains and nor is it enforced by the company.

Are such policies in place just in case the employeer needs to take action or do they serve a purpose?

  Forum Editor 09:29 24 Apr 2004

in the light of new research carried out on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Around 89% of all UK companies now provide internet access on the desktop, and the research findings show that one in five of all companies suffered from their employees abusing use of the internet last year. The two biggest causes cited were excessive personal emails and access to inappropriate websites.

  Sir Radfordin 09:29 24 Apr 2004

FE: Please tell me I'm not going mad but you moved this...?

  VoG II 09:30 24 Apr 2004

Thought I was going mad, LOL.

The company I work for has a clearly defined policy - basically you can use the internet for whatever you like as long as it does not involve visiting "the dark side". And any non-work use of the internet has to be in your own time. This policy is brought to our attention at fairly regular intervals.

The policy is enforced. At least one person has been dismissed "instantly" for accessing inappropriate sites.

  Sir Radfordin 09:32 24 Apr 2004

...if anyone is interested in reading more on the use of email within the workplace then click here for the working draft of my Dissertation. The first 15 or so pages cover already published research and provide an interesting insight into email communication.

Anyone wishing to comment on the work is welcome to do so either here or PM me. Criticism is much more valuable at this stage :)

  spuds 11:33 24 Apr 2004

Like most things in life, some people will carry their little perks to the extreme, whilst others are quite content and satified with these little privledges.A friend of mine who owns a small business employing fourteen people, as recently stopped all private internet usage, due to excessive abuses.Two employees ruined it for the rest of the staff, by their game playing and trawling questionable sites activities.

  Forum Editor 12:13 24 Apr 2004

You posted it in the Helproom in error.

  Forum Editor 12:18 24 Apr 2004

confronted with the evidence of internet misuse when visiting clients - and some of it's very serious.

Not too long ago I discovered that one employee (of a very large multi-national company) was downloading huge amounts of material to his laptop after working hours. He was instantly dismissed for gross misconduct - he had twice been warned about the company's policy. Other clients take the view that "what I don't know won't hurt me" and some of them are being taken for a merry ride by their employees.

  Mango Grummit 12:52 24 Apr 2004

And yet I bet some of these same people are ones that have posted (to these forums) they would never use pirated software and also claim that they have paid for WinZip (for example).

Honesty is a strange thing since people seem to measure it by standards they set for themselves and others. Eg. It is considered to be fair-game and part of life to oppose your employers wishes????

But hey, let's wait until the final result as the poll is only in small numbers at-the-mo Sat 24/4 12.53pm.

  Forum Editor 14:17 24 Apr 2004

that it has been considered 'fair game' to take advantage of one's employers for as long as I can remember, and I would imagine there's hardly a home in Britain that hasn't had a company pencil, or some A4 paper fromm the stationery cupboard in it at some time or another.

So far our informal poll seems to be bearing out what the statistics tell us - but we'll let it run for a while longer before drawing conclusions. If anyone fancies coming clean about using the company bandwidth for personal reasons feel free - your anonymity is assured.

  Sir Radfordin 14:24 24 Apr 2004

The more significant element in this discussion is that most employers don't have a clue what this 'abuse' is costing them.

Many are happy to over-look the use of the Internet for personal use but I wonder how much of that is because they don't realise the cost or the implications of not monitoring what goes on.

Apparently research has been done that shows the average employee gains the equivilant of 2-weeks extra holiday a year though personal use of email/internet - just in raw time. When I discussed this with several employees for my research they nearly all said they would be happy to loose the 'right' to use email/internet for their own use even for an extra couple of days holiday a year.

The impression I get is that generally employees aren't really aware of what their companies policy on email/internet use says nor the implications of not adhering to it. Companies seem to have taken the appoach of putting a policy in place "just in case we need to use it" and don't do much to prevent the abuse.

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