A recent survey states that fifty percent of employers block employees from being able to access certain websites at work.
Is blocking your employees ability to view certain websites a cop out? I can’t help but think that it is. Here’s why:
Blocking websites comes from the general theory that productivity decreases because employees are playing around on the internet. Thus, by limiting website access productivity will increase. This would be true if internet usage is the only thing keeping productivity low.
NEWS FLASH: Employees who want to waste time will find a way to do so, internet or not. The problem isn’t the internet, it’s their passion and engagement.
Shouldn’t companies focus on making sure their employees are engaged, working to their full potential, and passionate?
Blocking website access for employees does the following:
- Forces non-engaged employees to spend their time at work doing things such as reading newspapers, wandering around the office, taking longer lunches, …oh yea, and checking their facebook status on their mobile phones where you really can’t track them.
- Forces engaged employees (who actually want to get work done) to have to jump through a million hoops to get online to do any of the following:
- See what your customers are saying about you
- Find creative ways to think outside the box
- Do any type of research for new products/ideas
- Look at clients website
It seems to me that instead of blaming the internet for the lack of productivity, companies should take a good look at how their teams are built and how their managers are setting expectations.
When a company decides to block website access they’ve put another blanket policy in place as a band aid to a much larger problem.
Companies need to do the following:
- Hire passionate employees & monitor engagement
- Set strong goals for employees
- Push managers to set tough deadlines
- Hold employees accountable for getting projects done