With the benefits come the burdens: requisite technological access necessarily increases employee productivity. Alternatively, however; it can decrease productivity, along with bogging down workplace networks and leaving those networks vulnerable to attack. This time of year, many employees bundle their productivity - both the work and shopping variety.
So, how should employers handle employees who shop online at work?
Employer responses range from terminating an employee, blocking internet shopping sites entirely, monitoring employee internet usage, or simply trusting that their employees are working hard.
No matter what response an employer chooses, they must choose wisely. Considerations such as employee morale, contractual terms of employment, and network/internet access agreements, for example, should be at the top of the list.
Ultimately, if an employee signs an agreement preventing or restricting personal use of company equipment or the use of the internet, an employer may legally enforce the provisions of that agreement, likely protecting them from wrongful termination lawsuits. Conversely, however; for the benefit of morale, no employer wants to be a Scrooge. Clearly articulating expectations and policies to employees at this time of the year sends a clear message of expected and accepted workplace conduct.
Photo credit: Microsoft