This is a sample research paper on Internet Monitoring in the Workplace: Introduction
The Internet is an indispensable tool for employees, giving ready access to invaluable information. On the other hand, distractions loom large for employees given unfettered access to the Internet. The reality of the situation is that the Internet can consume a lot of work time by delivering anything a person wants to their desktop. This can lure employees into time-wasting surfing that leaves an organization with traffic congestion, decreased productivity and even potential legal issues. As a result the demand for monitoring and blocking tools to keep employees focused on their jobs has increased. Many corporations are taking a tough stance and blocking objectionable sites and or monitoring their employees Internet usage. The issue of Internet usage monitoring must be approached with caution as employee animosity could arise from feelings that the company is infringing on their personal rights. Privacy and personal rights in the workplace are some of the most troubling professional and personal issues of our time. The law does not offer much guidance in this arena and companies must look toward ethical analysis as a guide to decision making. The issue of monitoring employee’s Internet access continues to generate legal disputes and case laws continue to evolve. One point that is clear is that businesses’ have an interest in monitoring Internet access to reduce the risk from reduced productivity, legal liability, and confidential data loss. Employee Misuse of Internet
According to a report by Elron Software about $1.05 billion, or 30% of the 3.5 billion corporations spend each year on Internet access is wasted on recreational surfing. It seems that access to the Internet has replaced the water cooler as the gathering spot of choice for employees. The pitfalls of a totally wired workforce are starting to become apparent to many companies. Managers are concerned about the possible lawsuits involving employees’ access to inappropriate material during work hours. They also are alarmed by the amount of time employees may be spending on personal interests rather than their actual jobs. Research has determined that 18% of employees will visit the Internet 10 or more times a day for personal use and 25% visit the Internet 3 or more times a day. Of the employees who access the Internet at work, more than 25% think it is extremely likely that their supervisor is aware of there personal use of the Internet at work. A recent survey highlighted the online habits of workers with Internet access: 72% read the news, 40% shop. 37% search for another job, 34% check stocks, and 28% take care of personal issues. Some other popular uses for the Internet include checking sports scores, making travel arrangements, and spending time chatting in rooms or via the various instant-messaging applications (IM). An surprisingly, despite the risks, one in twenty-five employees still visit pornographic sites at work. Furthermore, according to Business Week, a full 80% of workers say the use company e-mail to send and receive personal messages. Most employees are aware that Internet activities not related to work can slow down Internet access for the entire company and can use up costly bandwidth, but persist in the use of the Internet. These activities are detrimental to the workplace and contribute to a loss or productivity as well as hampering mission critical Internet use. Drafting Internet Usage and Monitoring Policies
It is important that Employers provide employees with a clear Internet Usage Policies, describing the permitted and prohibited uses of the Internet at work. The Internet Usage Policy (IUP) should make it clear that Internet traffic is not private and that the Employer has the right to monitor Internet use at will. Issues that need to be considered when drafting an Internet Usage Policy include whether the...