In a recent survey by management solutions provider (whatever that is) MDS found that employees use business landlines and work mobiles for up to 90% of their personal and private calls. Furthermore, with more than half admitting to accessing and updating their social media profiles on an ongoing basis it’s becoming blatantly obvious that a majority of us now conduct our social lives from nine to five by email and phone.
Speaking from experience I didn’t ever have too much of an issue with this provided it was backed up by the productivity figures I needed to see and the social inclusion which created a happy place to work. But it needs to be managed and controlled by the employee, otherwise expect the worst. Here’s some advice to take on board before you next contact your twitterati for an elevense’s catch-up:
- Ask what is considered fair usage. You may be allowed to use the internet for personal use during your lunch break, though sites such a ebay, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube may still be blocked.
- Think before you click. If you would not use your computer in the same way in full view of your manager, then it’s probably not a good idea to do so when not. Doh!
- Don’t use work email for personal messages. Set up a personal email account and access these only during your own, or any allowed, time.
- Make yourself aware of any monitoring policy and/or software at work. Ask for guidance if necessary.
- Be aware of using company property after work. Use of company computers and phones outside working hours is usually OK, but even if freedom of use is allowed you still need to be a tad sensitive as to what you are using it for.
- Stay away from computer games. They can be addictive and you could be drawn into playing them during restricted time.
- If in doubt, play safe and don’t do it.