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Why Monitoring Internet Usage is the First Step in Improving Productivity

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The internet era has brought numerous great novelties to the world of business, but if not used properly, the internet can actually become bad for business. You shouldn’t expect your employees to work non-stop, but the internet is a great source of distraction that can negatively influence productivity at your office.

That’s why you should consider monitoring the internet usage of your employees. Once you understand why this is important and you make a decision, you can easily learn how to monitor internet usage.

Monitoring Before Blocking

If you suspect that your employees’ productivity is decreasing due to internet usage, monitoring their internet usage should be the first step to take before you determine a new strategy to improve productivity.

You should notify your employees before you start monitoring their computers because otherwise, it would irreversibly break the trust between the company and its employees. Just them being aware of being monitored might already increase their productivity.

There might not be a need to block any websites yet. Blocking too many popular websites at once might come as a shock to your employees, resulting in frustration and a further decrease in productivity.

Your employees have certain habits that they are comfortable with, such as opening news portals while drinking their morning coffee, listening to their favorite podcast while working, or checking their social media a couple of times a day. If you abruptly break these habits, they might find it hard to catch a new rhythm.

On the other hand, monitoring still allows them to visit their favorite websites, but with more consideration for company time. They can reorganize work-related and unrelated tasks, thus check their social media during work breaks and spend less time shopping and scrolling through news portals.

The Most Distracting Websites

There are certain types of websites that are known to decrease productivity at work if the employees are not being monitored. After you start monitoring your internet usage you will see for yourself which of these websites are most distractiing for your employees.

Social Media

Social media sites are the most addictive types of websites. Most of your employees are probably addicted to some extent, and this addiction can be very distracting at work. Highly addicted individuals have an uncontrollable urge to check their social media every few minutes, and it’s very hard for them to contain themselves when it’s only a few clicks away.

Monitoring internet usage can help you spot employees that have problems concentrating on work due to their social media addiction. Once you notice that, you should bring it to their attention and talk about getting this addiction out of the way of their work tasks.

Once they’re aware that they are being monitored, they will pay attention to their bad habit, and hopefully, gradually break from it.

Adult Websites

This might come as a surprise to you, but many people have admitted to having watched pornography at work. With pornographic content being as accessible as it is today, many people have developed an addiction. Some of them can’t contain themselves even when they are at work.

Pornography is obviously inappropriate at a workplace, it’s disturbing for other co-workers, and of course, it’s distractive for the consumer. If your employees know that they are being monitored, they most certainly won’t dare to browse for such material, which will reflect positively on their work performance.

Streaming Websites

Video streaming is among the most common forms of procrastination at work. It’s different from social media because it takes even more focus. People can get lost in an episode of their favorite show and forgetting they are at work for 20 minutes.

While it’s ok for your employees to watch their favorite shows and movies during the work breaks or when the day is particularly slow, it’s important to monitor their internet usage in order to prevent them from video streaming when there is work to be done.

Some forms of video streaming can be productive, for example watching work-related tutorials. Some employees find it relaxing and easier to work while they listen to music or podcasts, so you should show some understanding for that sort of streaming.

Gaming Websites

Some of your employees might appear to be unusually engaged in their work, while actually playing games at gaming websites. This is a pretty common form of procrastination, and it’s very bad for your employees’ productivity.

These games can be a good way to relax during the breaks or help with work focus, but if played too frequently, these games become nothing but another addiction and distraction. Monitoring your employees will help you notice too frequent visits to these websites and bring them to your employees’ attention.

Shopping Websites

Almost every American worker has at least once shopped online at work. This form of shopping has become very common recently, and it’s not supposed to take too much time. However, just like there are people addicted to shopping at malls, there are also people addicted to online shopping.

Furthermore, a lot of these sales are done in the form of auctions, so once you place a bid you have to pay attention until the auction is over, which can take hours. This is, naturally, terrible for work productivity, so you should pay attention to your employees that are prone to this kind of procrastination at work.

Blocking Certain Websites

You can do a lot to increase productivity in your office by just monitoring your employees’ internet usage, but that’s a lot of work and doesn’t always bring the best results. For safety and productivity purposes, it’s advisable to block certain websites. For example, there’s nothing to monitor about pornography consumption at work, you should simply block it.

It might be simpler and more effective to block social media from your employee’s computers since these kinds of websites are highly addictive and it’s difficult for your employees to keep themselves from visiting them too frequently. They can still check their social media on their phones during the breaks.

Finally

There are many ways in which monitoring internet usage can lead to an increase in your employees’ productivity. For example, you can use monitoring to spot the hardest workers and reward them, ensuring to keep their productivity level steady.

On the other hand, you will find out who are your least motivated employees and work together to find a way to improve their productivity. This approach is guaranteed to increase the overall productivity level at your company.

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