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When personal internet usage becomes a problem

Almost every employed person will have checked their personal email, placed a quick order for something or checked Facebook during their working day.  Most employers won’t have any major problem with this occasional personal internet activity.

But what if it becomes more than occasional?  What if it starts affecting the work or productivity of a person or department?

What are the steps you can take to nip this in the bud or indeed what actions can be taken if nipping it in the bud doesn’t have the desired effect?

In our experience, usually a conversation will suffice; as long as the message and boundaries are consistent for all staff members.

If that doesn’t work, providing all of the correct policies are in place you can start to take more formal action.

Preceding all of this though you must have the following policies in place to ensure that any action you take is risk free or at least low risk:

  • An internet use policy – it is essential to have an internet usage policy either as a standalone or as part of your employee handbook. The policy should detail what is acceptable i.e. use of the internet for personal reasons during breaks and what isn’t acceptable i.e.  personal internet use during working hours.  It must also detail any monitoring that is or could be in place and the potential consequences of not adhering to the policy;
  • Disciplinary policy and procedure – It crucial to have in place a policy that details the disciplinary procedure so that all staff are aware of the steps open to you as the employer. The procedure should detail the sanctions available to you and how the procedure works including timescales and potential outcomes.

If you need any help with internet usage or disciplinary policies call today on 01487 815720.

The Simple Take is: If you have the right policies in place you can take risk free action.

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