Whether it’s the telephone line, photocopying, stationary, or any other company resources that can be abused, there have always been – and there always will be – employees who take advantage of such things. Internet use is no exception to this. SMEs have often considered the adoption of internet monitoring software to control internet access by employees, yet some refuse to take such action as they believe it might create a sort of ‘Big Brother’ atmosphere – and no one wants their employees to feel ‘watched’.
Little do they know that the deployment of internet monitoring software can create a happier, safer and more respectable environment – boosting employee morale and increasing productivity. The way to understand this is by seeing the two sides of the coin:
Tails: The workplace without internet monitoring software
Imagine you are a hard working employee. You set your priorities and start working on those targets, only to be disrupted by the colleague sitting next to you who’s giggling as he/she watches some funny clip on YouTube. Although this annoys you, you try your best to ignore and focus. Next is the person sitting at the desk right opposite who starts talking about the latest shoes on ASOS to the colleague sitting next to him/her and you have to endure there chit chat on the latest fashion as they browse through different online shopping sites. After a short peaceful pause another colleague informs all of you about the latest event he/she just got invited to through Facebook. But the cherry on the cake is that point when everyone seems to be finally focused on their work and you suddenly start witnessing problems with bandwidth thanks to all the hogging – not to mention the times when the system crashes down and you have to halt those projects because someone was surfing through one of those offensive sites which was a treasure throve for malicious software and infected the network with malware.
This is a simple example of a daily scene employees experience at their place of work. The results of such environments vary according to the employee. Some employees might get frustrated and eventually, after seeing no action is being taken on their fellow cyberslackers, decide that if they can’t win them they might as well just join them. The more responsible employees might decide they just had enough and leave the company. Some might file a legal claim because of the offensive, racist and/or illicit websites they have seen being accessed in the workplace.
Heads: The workplace with internet monitoring software
Now just imagine how different the picture would be if the right internet monitoring software were applied.
- Offensive, illegal and illicit material is instantly blocked – meaning no employee will find him/herself in any awkward situation, and also that your organization has a much smaller risk of finding itself in court.
- Bandwidth use is controlled – therefore employees will be able to follow webinars, watch informative videos, browse work related websites and do any other web activities which can help improve their work performance, efficiently.
- Internet access is controlled – this should put an end to cyberslacking because if administrators receive a notification saying a particular employee has been wasting time on non-work related sites for X period of time, they can send the individual a warning and if no changes are made, action is taken. In this way, hardworking employees will not be disrupted. Also, once employees know their internet activity is being monitored, there are high chances they will work harder and avoid procrastinating on the web.
- Less chances of malware attacks – the possibility of finding malicious software is generally greater in the case of social media sites (them being most visited and therefore most targeted by malware creators), seedy sites (such as porn sites and gaming sites), and other sites you would probably block and or control access to when using internet monitoring software. In this way the chances of the network crashing are very low and employees’ work won’t be disrupted.
That deploying internet monitoring software within organizations can lower employee morale is a misconception (subject to it being properly deployed, employees are informed and they understand the reasons why). Internet monitoring software actually heightens employee morale and improves productivity – it is when there’s absence of such an indispensable tool that the workflow starts legging behind.
This guest post was provided by Christina Goggi on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. More information: GFI Internet Monitoring Software. All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.