If you have read the papers lately, then you probably noticed the numerous lawsuits and legal actions taken against individuals who download or upload inappropriate material on the internet. Unfortunately, people nowadays don’t engage in this kind of illicit activities from the comfort of their homes, but also from their workplace. Granted, waking up with a court order for violating copyright is a company’s worst nightmare. However, there are other ways employees can waste corporate money and resources such as spending time chatting with friends on social networks or making calls via the company’s VoIP for instance. Luckily, you can do something about it!
Install online and local monitoring software
Even though you might not associate corporate espionage and information leaks with small companies, nowadays when the competition is steeper than ever, all data irrespective of how minor, matters. Therefore, by installing an online computer monitoring software you can determine what and whom your employees are communicating with from the company’s headquarters. In addition, such tools allow you to establish the type of activities that are being performed during work hours, especially if you had problems with submitting deadlines lately.
Let your employees know of your intentions
If you decide to install a monitoring tool, then it is only fair to inform your staff regarding your intentions. Engaging in such monitoring activities without informing your employees could only result in anger and resentment when they eventually find out. In addition to telling them about it, it is also a good idea to establish a set of rules regarding internet and computer usage in your company. More often than not, acting fair and honest towards your employees will result in them being on their best behavior while the company could benefit from an increase in performance.
Monitor all activities, not just a few employees’ activities
It is important to note that the new rules regarding computer/internet usage as well as the monitoring software should apply to everyone and not just a few employees whom you suspect are wasting the company’s time and resources. If you decide to leave some departments out of this, then you will create tension among co-workers and send the message that “some are more important than others and above the law “.
Consider blocking some sites
As a business owner, you are probably too busy with management and administration to focus on monitoring your employees all day long. This is why it would be a good idea to block some websites, such as the social network or pornography websites, so you don’t have to worry about time management and focus on more important things.
Remember to be fair and just
Should you fire an employee who, you caught slacking? Well it depends on when you enforced the new computer/internet usage rules and what you hope to accomplish. Ideally, you should refrain from punishing your staff too harshly for minor slipups and instead go for a system that gradually increases the penalties. After all, they are not there to serve prison time, but to help you and your company become more productive.