The T&D blog writes about the issue of non work related surfing and emailing. The post talks about the problem of the policy being unclear. Sure that’s a problem.
But I wonder if we should not take a completely different approach. Let’s face it – it’s not whether this is going to happen, it’s when. Come on, we all have done this.
And perhaps if we really admit it, employees surfing and emailing on their breaks is no big crime. Sure it takes up bandwidth, sure there’s a cost associated. But what if we viewed this as part of the cost of retention. I think it is a good goal that we enable employees to take care of matters that need to be taken care of and the allow them to rest from work several times per day. Perhaps the mindless surfing to bid on a new Blackberry on ebay is going to help
me him or her focus on real work later?
OK, we don’t want employees spending hours per day surfing. Well, here’s the thing. If you have employees surfing and emailing personal stuff for hours in a day, this is not caused by a lack of policy. So the managers who march themselves to HR to complain about their employees surfing too much and asking for a policy (I have had this happen) ought to turn back around, go to the mens or ladies room and look in the mirror. That’s where the problem needs to be solved.
If people are not focused.
If people are not engaged in work.
If people aren’t getting the work done.
Focus on solving these problems. You will gain so much more from this focus than you will by looking over people’s shoulders and treating them like children.
- Break room with coffee and tea – $100 per month.
- Product discounts – $1,000 per year.
- Allowing me to take the time to check my email and get my new Blackberry for half price on ebay – Priceless.
Retention is worth its weight in platinum.