Personal Use of Work Computers: Good or Bad?

using work computer for personal issues

Do you allow your employees personal use of work computers?

Some workplaces have learned the financial cost associated with allowing their staff to access the internet. And some companies have figured out by not allowing access to the internet, it, too, can have a financial risk to the bottom line.

There is software out there than can be installed on individual computers to limit access to specific domains, or, in some workplaces, even block all internet access. However, completely denying access to the internet can also have a negative effect on your employees’ morale.


Completely denying access to internet can hurt employee morale.

Trust your employees – don’t micromanage them – and they will be happier and more efficient.


Interaction with friends and family through social media or email are positive in most cases, and with that positive attitude will come better results from employees. There is also software that can monitor user’s activities if you’re concerned about time use.

Not only will it show what websites they are visiting, but it can also capture each keystroke from the user. This might be a solution that can be used to monitor employees if lack of productivity becomes a concern. Then privileges can be taken away accordingly if deemed necessary.

personal use of work computersSocial Media

Since we are on the topic of social media, let’s discuss how removing this function from your computers in the office.  Now with more smart phones in the market, and with the price points for these phones becoming more affordable to most users the personal use of computers in the workplace might recede overtime.  Even if you were to remove the ability of visiting social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, the employees might still be able to access this via their smart phone.  But there will still be an issue with employees using work computers for personal use just due to convenience.

Security

Allowing the ability to download from personal email or even non work related websites can lead to some detrimental consequences.  Even with anti virus software, there are always new ones coming into the scene that can fly under the radar.  The last thing you want is some virus finding its way to your server.  This can cost the company even more if the virus takes down the entire network.

Distraction

Yes allowing personal use of the computer will absolutely lead to distraction and loss of manpower during work hours.  Before there was internet, there was still office distraction, hanging out by the copier our watercooler and chatting with the other employees.  I think it’s safe to say, businesses need to work around and accept the personal use of the computer and cell phone in the workspace. There is always an easy medium, it’ll be up to the business owner on what that is.

At the end of the day, it is at the business owner’s discretion on what’s best for the business, and sometimes it will take trial and error. Good luck!

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Personal Use of Work Computers: Good or Bad? | First Capital Business Finance



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