Life Blurring

Feb 03, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Employees surfing the web for personal reasons during work hours might be good for productivity, says an article in this month’s Business 2.0.

Conversely, electronic monitoring of how employees surf during working hours using tracking software has led to lower job satisfaction and an increase in absenteeism for personal reasons while promoting a sense of rebellion among the ranks.

“Management literature is filled with books that use the word trust in their titles, and most people at the top claim to understand that cultures based on trust work better than those based on distrust,” writes Jeffrey Pfeffer. “Yet even as companies say they want strong relationships with their people, they unwittingly undermine those relationships by following their employees’ every keystroke.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on employees
conducting personal business during work hours and the need (or not) for companies
to monitor Internet usage?

Too much has been made of employees using the web during
work. Employers do not seem to have a problem with the large percentage of employees
that take their work home with them or their laptops/cell phones/pagers on vacation.

The idea of life being divided into separate pockets for
personal and professional is outdated. Life today is about time management.
Mature adults prioritize responsibilities and take care of their duties according
to schedule.
Anderson – Moderator

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