Are Employees Spending Too Much Time Online What Are They Doing by #NewToHR

Are Employees Spending Too Much Time Online; What Are They Doing?

Long before the internet, it was very easy to monitor employee activities while at the same time monitoring their movements. This is because all they could do was read magazines, doodle on pictures or alternatively, for the smokers, take constant snoozes in between chores. Well, in this day and age, you may need the technology to mitigate the time your employees are wasting online. Remember, every minute wasted is money thrown down the drain. As much as you want to ensure that your employees have their breaks, they may be taking too much time online and this could counter their productiveness.

For those working online, the internet can be so tempting while at the same time resourceful. Resourceful in the sense that, they still need the internet to do their research, submit important files, or market the various products, and services provided by your business. But the temptation to visit some sites is still irresistible. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what your employees are doing online and what to do about it.

They May Be Playing Online Games

Online games – a necessary evil – have become so common among employees.

The reason as to why online games are increasingly gaining popularity even in workplaces is the mere fact that they are easily accessible. In addition to this, the workforce of today mainly comprises of the younger generation. The internet provides endless possibilities and options. There are hundreds if not thousands of games to choose from. Multi-tasking, that’s what they call it!

The fact that you can play online games and still manage to complete all your tasks makes it even more interesting. In addition to this, your employees could be making an extra buck playing online.

So, is this a bad thing? Actually, it’s not, and here’s why!

Research has shown that taking micro-breaks and engaging in some online activities such as online games may be beneficial for both the organization and the employee. As it turns out, taking some breaks online may be doing your employees some good.

Here’s how:

  • Helps to improve their well being
  • Improves their cognitive functions
  • Improving mental agility
  • Reducing impulsiveness
  • Boosting on-the-job fundamental skills

Social Media

There are a number of social media platforms that your employees may be spending their time in. They include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram to mention but a few. While there are mixed feelings about allowing social media access to employees at work, it turns out that when properly used, social media has been found to be a powerful communication tool as well as an effective marketing strategy. In addition to this, social media has also been found to be an effective means of improving work relations. As we all know, most employees could be living far from home. Interacting with families and friends on social media platforms could help your employees recover from their various stresses. In a way, this will help to improve productivity.


This has been found to be the other reason as to why your employees are spending too much time online. In most cases, emails may be used professionally or personally. Some employees may be using work email to send personal messages while others will use it as a communication tool to source for new clients. For this reason, you are advised to encourage your employees to check their emails at least three times a day. In addition to this, advise your employees to resist the temptation of responding to spam emails as this could jeopardize the integrity of your security systems.

Surfing The Internet

The internet is by far the most resourceful hub of information. Most people are on the internet searching for various products and services. Your employees may be using work time and the internet to do some work-related research. On the other hand, they may also be doing their personal online banking, searching for vacation spots or even checking out breaking news. If they only spend little time surfing the internet, then it may be a means to motivate and refresh their minds. However, if they take too long on the internet, then you need to find ways on how to ethically monitor your employees’ online activity.

As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages of your employees spending their time online. Your staff may appear to be working diligently while in reality, they’re wasting valuable time online. It, therefore, brings in the need to track their online activities. Let’s take a look at the reasons as to why you should ethically monitor your employees while at work.

Security Concerns

Tracking your workers’ online activity could in a number of ways, help to safeguard the integrity of your security measures.

More often than not, companies and organizations find themselves vulnerable to insider threats at some point. In most cases, intellectual information, trade secrets, and valuable data may be copied without authorization from the company, costing the business huge sums of money. It is, therefore, important to employ monitoring strategies to prevent this from happening.

To Improve Productivity

Reminding your employees of the importance of avoiding the use of non-work websites during working hours will go a long way in helping to tame their time wasting and improve productivity. However, in doing so, employers need to comply with regulations governing the security of their private and sensitive data.

Preventing Violence among Employees

Instant messages have at some point been linked to workplace violence. This is especially true among colleagues who don’t get along, threatening, and intimidating each other. Monitoring your employees can help in creating a safer workplace environment.

It’s no doubt that the internet has helped create efficiency in workplaces. This, not to mention the fact that it’s now become easier to do research without having the need to sift through volumes of books. But you’ll still note that there is so much time wasted on the internet during working hours. This may have contributed to companies prohibiting the use of certain websites and social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which are actually not work-related to some extent. The same tools that facilitate efficiency at workplaces could be the same tools snatching your employees’ attention.

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