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Jordan's government blocks hundreds of sites! Here's how to avoid Internet abuse in the workplace - without becoming Big Brother

by , 03 July 2013
The Jordanian government is coming under fire from watchdogs for blocking hundreds of websites. Generally speaking, when governments censor the Internet, they're the bad guys! But what are your rights if, as an employer and manager, you want to limit the things your employees do online?

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We live in a digital age. Technology creeps in and takes over when employees check their phones on a break.

The Internet is such a huge part of our lives, in fact, governments often try to control it. And that's exactly what Jordan's government is doing. Today, it announced that it'll be taking down 'unlicensed' news sites that refuse to be censored, reports News24.

But governments aren't the only ones who have problems with people using the Internet. As an employer, you might recognise these situations:
  • You walk past an employee's desk and see their Facebook page splashed across the screen
  • The clickity-clack of a keyboard, random laughter, gossip – looks like somebody's having a personal conversation over email or chat
  • Your company Internet bill is so high you could cry – a little digging shows that employees have been downloading music to their work computers
  • An employee's work is overdue… But there's a Youtube video of kittens loading on their screen!

The Internet swallows up your employees' time and attention in huge gulps

Your company's resources are at stake!
 
After all, you pay for bandwidth and digital storage. You must make sure employees don't abuse valuable resources.

But the big secret of Internet abuse is that it's a giant time-suck! If your employee is spending hours staring at Twitter instead of doing their work, this becomes about more than just saving bandwidth. It's a productivity issue too.

It may seem a bit 'Big Brother' to yank away the employee's rights to use the Internet completely – they probably need it for some part of their job. But you're well within your rights as an employer to monitor and limit the Internet, as long as you respect their privacy as well.

For more on this issue, check out the Labour and HR Club's excellent advice on how to monitor internet usage without violating an employee's right to privacy. Here, you'll find a brilliant sample clause you can include in your company's policies and procedures to help you curb Internet abuse starting today! 




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