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How abuse of company communication systems affects employee productivity and what controls you can put in place to stop it...

by , 27 February 2013
'Your communication systems are central to the effectiveness of your business, but the use of the Internet has become a huge problem, with many employees abusing this business tool,' says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
Read on to discover how employee Internet abuse affects company productivity and how you can put an end to this costly practice.

The potential consequences of the abuse of company communication systems like the internet are can be dire for you as an employer. 'This could cost you thousands of rand in lost working time, legal expenses and damaged electronic systems,' warns The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

The reasons?

  • Working time is wasted when employees surf the Internet by participating in chat rooms, for instance.
  • Defamatory statements via your email system can lead to serious legal action, which could cost you thousands of rand in damages.
  • Your employees can perpetrate industrial espionage by emailing your confidential information.

According to Mickler and Associates, taking a few proactive steps to manage your technology and employees by setting reasonable standards is good technology management.

'If left unmonitored or your expectations are uncommunicated, these kinds of activities can reduce network performance, exacerbate an unhealthy sense of entitlement, and even expose the company's assets to malware, further diminishing productivity and raising costs,' says Mickler and Associates.

Here's how you can put an end to employee abuse of your company's communication systems

  • Install access control devices on your computer systems. This will help you limit employee access to the minimum necessary needs. This can include the installation of passwords for accessing your email system and blockades against Internet access.
  • Ensure that employees who need access to the Internet for business purposes are limited to specific time periods on the Internet.
  • Warn employees in writing that you have monitoring systems in place. It's important to ensure that you have signed confirmation that your employees have received and understood your rules and warnings.

Remember, if you turn a blind eye to the abuse of your company's communication systems, your company will remain vulnerable to the rampant abuse.

By implementing controls to stop the abuse of company communication systems, you'll ensure that your employees are productive and aren't raising company costs unnecessarily.

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