A growing number of business owners and managers are concerned with employee productivity and with good reason. Today, the vast majority of workers require some level of access to the Internet to do their jobs. In fact, many employees need to work online throughout each working day. Many of these workers give in to the temptation of the Internet and end up spending an inordinate amount of time engaged in personal business online. This, of course, has a negative impact on employee productivity. As this problem grows, more and more employers are taking different approaches in an effort to resolve the issue. Some have tried blocking access to certain websites, but this can prove to be more of a problem than a solution if the employees need to occasionally access Blocked Websites to perform their jobs. Blocking software typically works by blocking access to entire categories of websites, which all too often means that business-related sites are included within those categories, and employees aren’t able to access the blocked websites that are related to doing their jobs. Other employers have tried Employee Monitoring Software in an effort to improve productivity. This type of software tracks the Internet usage of each employee, informing the business owner or manager which websites are being accessed by which employees and how often. While this information may be valuable at first in determining which workers are wasting the most time during the workday, ultimately it doesn’t do anything to improve productivity. In fact, this type of software, which is often called “spy ware” because of its invasive nature, can lead to a lack of trust on the part of employees once they discover that their boss is “spying” on them. That lack of trust can lead to resentment, and resentment can lead to a lack of motivation. Considering it was probably a lack of motivation that first caused the employees’ reduced productivity to begin with, “spyware” only serves to make a bad problem even worse. The first step toward resolving the issue of decreased productivity really involves finding out the root of the problem. After all, if employees are wasting time at work, it can’t be entirely the fault of the Internet – it has to be related to the job itself or the work environment. If an employee is unhappy with the job for some reason, or if the worker has a conflict with either the management or other employees, that can have a detrimental impact on his or her work performance. The next step on the road to improving employee productivity involves finding ways to provide positive motivation for employees. Once they want to do a better job, they will, and their Internet access won’t play a role one way or the other.
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