How to Prevent Your Employees from

Browsing the Web at Work

If you are running a business, you would know how most of the work is
related to the use of technology and the internet in the workplace. Employees
need internet access to complete most of their office-related tasks. But, do
you think they are only using the internet for official use? Have you given a
thought on how much they are spending online for their personal reasons?

It has been observed that employees spend around three hours every day
browsing the internet for personal reasons even while being at work. The more
employees surf the internet for personal agendas during office hours, the more
they lose productivity at work. A company cannot risk losing productivity
because less productivity means less revenue.

The extreme internet usage for personal reasons during office time causes
employers to consider deploying monitoring solutions in the workplace. They can
either deploy advanced monitoring software on their computers/laptops or
install iPhone or Android spy apps on
their smartphones.

How Employees Waste
Time at Work

There are a couple of things employees do on the internet during working
hours. They can stop doing their important work and get distracted by millions
of other things on the internet. For instance, they shop online, carry out
e-banking activities, pay their utility bills, chat with their friends on Facebook, send tweets on Twitter, and much more.

Most employees carry out these occasional activities during lunch breaks.
Even if they do spend some of their work time on their personal tasks, they
likely make up for it answering to email or responding to a client’s message
after the kids go to bed.  

However, it has been seen that a large percentage of employees abuse the
privilege of free internet access at work. Let’s quote an example here. In one
company, a discontented manager was seen spending around more than six hours everyday online doing everything from looking for a new job
to searching for new recipes, shopping for his kids, and downloading movies.

In another company, an employee was found changing the position of his
computer so that nobody around his vicinity could take a look at his screen
except himself. When he did this, the rest of the staff was alerted and they
immediately notified the IT manager. On looking upon his internet history, it
was revealed that a particular employee was downloading and watching adult
content on the internet.

Suppose if the employer had remained unaware of that employee viewing adult
content online, the employer could have faced charges for sexual harassment or
a claim for providing a hostile work environment. Since he couldn’t afford to
have either, he fired that employee straight away. He had the authority to fire
the employee because he had clearly stated the conditions under which he could
terminate an employee on breaching the company’s internet usage policy.

Why It’s Important
to Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Companies have important reasons to monitor employee internet activity. Most
employers believe that employee monitoring is crucial for employee
productivity, employee engagement, legal reasons, to protect the company’s
sensitive data, and to prevent harassment in the workplace.

Depending on the company and its workforce, employers have primary reasons
to monitor employee internet activity. For every business, employee
productivity is the key. Losing productivity means decreased revenues. The lesser the productivity, the lesser the revenue. If
employees spend more time on the internet, they will tend to lose productivity.
Hence, employee internet monitoring is important to prevent them from spending
too much time on the internet.

Protecting the company’s sensitive data and information is essential for
every business. No employer would afford to lose its company’s data to anyone,
especially its competitors and outsiders. Therefore, they choose to keep the
data as private as possible. However, they can’t keep secrets from their

Sometimes, disgruntled and dishonest employees intentionally share the
company’s important information with the third parties or the company’s
competitors. While doing so, they might not realize how important this
information can be for the competitor as they can know everything about the
company’s new products and their features.

To prevent employees from sharing the company’s private information with the
other parties, employers should monitor their internet activity, especially
their chats, emails, and text messages. No company could bear data loss or data
theft. Therefore, they should monitor employee internet activity to find out
whether they are sharing the data with anyone else.

How to Prevent
Employees from Browsing Web Unnecessarily

We hope now you have understood the importance of employee monitoring in
every workplace. Employers adopt different methods to prevent employees from
browsing the internet unnecessarily during office hours.

While some choose to entirely block the internet access for their employees
during working hours because they do not want their employees to get distracted
by opening porn sites, watching online movies, chatting with their friends,
using social media, or playing games. On the other hand, some choose to adopt
smart employee monitoring solutions such as blocking and restricting certain sites
and apps on their devices.

By blocking certain sites and apps, they can prevent employees from not
using them at all while they are at work. That way employees
can’t spend too much time on the internet getting distracted by other
activities. They can stay focused on their job and complete the tasks on time.

Some companies can choose to block social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, etc. on their employees’ devices. It
totally depends on noticing the employee’s internet behavior and seeing how much
time they spend on a particular site or app. Then after reviewing their
internet activity, employers can decide which sites and apps they need to put
restrictions on.

Depending on the size and nature of the business, employee monitoring can
take several different forms. Some employers can choose to install keyloggers on their employees’ devices so they can record
and capture every keystroke pressed on their devices. Whereas
some employers can store and review their employees’ computer data.

Many companies use monitoring solutions to monitor and track employee
activity in the workplace. They can also install mobile spy
apps on their smartphones to track their internet
activity. They can also install GPS tracking apps on their vehicles to keep a
watch on their whereabouts.

We have also seen companies using alerts to monitor what is being written
about the company by employees on different social media platforms. Some firms
also monitor employee emails, chats, internet history, location, text messages,
as well as phone calls. Employee monitoring tools can help employers review
employee performance and then decide whether or not they are worthy of any
bonuses and rewards.

Louise Author