A new survey I came across has found that more than a quarter of employers have fired workers for misusing e-mail and one third have fired workers for misusing the Internet on the job.
The 2007 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey, conducted by the American Management Association (AMA) and the ePolicy Institute, polled 304 companies of all sizes in the United States. The vast majority of bosses who fired workers for Internet misuse (84 percent) said the employee was accessing porn or other inappropriate content.
While looking at inappropriate content is an obvious no-no on company time, simply surfing the Web led to a surprising number of firings. As much as 34 percent of managers in the study said they let go of workers for excessive personal use of the Internet, according to the survey.
Here's my question...
Are organizations keeping up and changing their policies with the many evolving ways that the internet is being used today?
Today, people use the internet is quite different ways than they did, even three years ago. For example, as What constitutes "excessive use" today? Is it legitimate use of sites that might have been considered "personal" in the past? With the explosion of Web 2.0 technology, savvy users have discovered that new technologies provide easy ways to "stitch together" business solutions from technology currently available in the Web 2.0 world.
A report I was reading conducted in late 2007 by the Pew Institute, entitled "How People use the Internet, Libraries, and Government Agencies to Find Help", delves into the many different ways that people use the web today. It illustrates how dramatically different web usage patterns are among different classes of internet users.
The ePolicy Institute also provides assistance to organizations trying to help organizations keep up with the rapidly changing profile of how people use the internet more effectively. Their website has a free 13-page guide you can order on how to do effective e-mail management entitled "How to Implement Strategic E-Mail Rules & Policies"
Likewise, RedVector has an excellent and well-respected course on "Business Writing: E-Mail techniques" that goes a step further by helping users of email make the most of this popular communications tool.
Question to readers... How do you see your use and colleagues use of the internet today different from 2-3 years ago? Would today's use according to the standards and definitions of "appropriate use" be considered illegitimate?