While a non-restrictive workplace culture is great and even encouraged, like most things, there are exceptions. The workplace is a place of work and a level of focus, and propriety should be evident so that work is properly done.
In particular, restricting internet access in the workplace can be very beneficial when done right, not only for things like security but also for sharpening focus. So here are 3 tips for you.
Define Clear Usage Policies
You want to establish explicit guidelines on acceptable internet use and avoid uncertainties about what is considered appropriate internet usage, as otherwise, this means distractions and decreased productivity.
Imagine a scenario where employees spend excessive time on social media during work hours instead of say work research on outsource logistics. By setting a policy that limits personal internet use to designated break times, you draw everyone’s attention to a rule instead of a mere suggestion, ensuring everyone is on the same page about prioritizing work tasks.
Draft a straightforward document outlining expectations, including which websites are permissible. Share this document during onboarding and remind employees of its existence periodically.
Implement Filtering Software
It’s not enough to just state restrictions. You want to enforce usage policies by restricting access to specific websites or categories, often preventing distractions and potential security risks.
Consider a scenario where employees frequently access entertainment websites during work hours. By implementing filtering software, you can block such sites, removing the temptation for a more focused work environment and reducing the risk of security threats from unauthorized sites.
It’s a good idea to figure out a filtration system that works for your company. Such as choosing a tool that has the option to configure the software to allow access to certain social media platforms only during designated breaks.
Monitor and Enforce
You want to maintain the focus and security you’re able to cultivate and the way to do this is by ensuring that established policies are followed consistently.
Especially in a workplace where employees consistently violate internet usage policies, monitoring becomes crucial. Suppose an employee habitually spends work hours on streaming platforms. You want to handle this head-on and as soon as possible, identifying the issue and addressing it to maintain a productive work environment.
You want to use tracking tools or reports, in the filtering software you choose, to monitor internet activity. Then establish consequences for policy violations, such as verbal warnings or written warnings, consistently reinforcing the importance of adhering to the guidelines.
Things like employees getting along or even looking things up is great! Still, there’s a time and place for everything, and it’s unproductive at the very least, digitally dangerous, and sometimes even illegal to do things like catch up on Netflix episodes during company hours. Follow these tips to effectively limit internet access at work.