Employee Productivity, Internet Usage Policy, Monitoring, Web Site Blocking in Skokie Il and all Chicago Suburbs
Outsource IT Solutions Group, Inc., located in Naperville Illinois (IL), provides comprehensive IT Consulting Support to small businesses in Skokie (60076, 60077) and all Chicago suburbs. We can help you choose the right combination of hardware and software to help you control and monitor employee internet activity; improving employee productivity and the stability of your internal network. Give us a call at 630-701-3393 or contact us via email.
Do you know what your employees are doing on your company computers?
Unfortunately, you can’t trust everyone.
Unless you are proactive, employees with Internet access have unlimited online access to entertainment, video poker, music downloads, shopping, porn, videos, banking and more. Recent studies show that over 50% of employees use the internet for an average of 3 hours a day for non-work activities.
So, other than looking over each employee’s shoulder every hour of every day, how do you even know if this is going on in your Skokie business? And if it is going on (and if you haven’t implemented controls, it is), how do you control it? Check out these tips for help:
Have an Internet Usage Policy
- Make sure your employees know what your expectations are with regards to using the Company Computer for personal use. Some personal use is inevitable, but make sure your employees know what you feel is reasonable. And, make sure that they understand the consequences. Surfing the internet for porn should not result in just a slap on the wrist like it has for some of the Government’s SEC employees. Each employee should receive a copy of the policy and be required to sign it and return it to management. It is important to note that there are some studies that indicate tightening the internet access policy too much can have a negative impact on productivity.
Have a Smart Phone Usage Policy
- The proliferation of powerful Smart Phone devices has made it possible for your employees to bypass their company computer and get straight to the internet from their phones. This is much harder to monitor, but make sure that a policy is in place. You wouldn’t allow an employee to talk on their cell phone for 3 hours a day, you need to make sure your policies extend to personal device internet usage while on the clock. Your smart phone usage policy needs to be included in your Internet Usage Policy.
Get An Internet Usage Audit
- There are tools available to be able to report on your employee’s Internet activity. This can give you insight into who in your organization (if anyone) is abusing your policy and how much productivity loss you are incurring. Make sure that you let your employees know (in your Internet Usage Policy) that you have the right and the ability to monitor their activity on Corporate resources. Just making the logging and the ability to monitor “public knowledge” is enough to deter much of the wasteful activity.
Install a Business grade Firewall
- Sounds complicated…but it’s not. It is relatively easy to block out the most offensive sites as well as other categories. Do not rely on a consumer quality router, make sure that you get a firewall that is suitable for a business environment. Typically, a piece of hardware is installed on your network and its job is to block any specific web sites or categories of web sites (all porn for example). There are literally dozens of different models and pricing structures for these devices. The most basic ones allow you to control the types of web sites your employees can visit by blocking them altogether. There are other models that allow you to control the things your employees can or cannot download, and the speed at which they are allowed to access certain sites. You can also control which activities get the highest Internet speeds (for example, payroll web site) and which sites will only work if no other work-related functions are happening at the same time. For a nominal setup cost and an annual subscription fee you can dramatically improve your staff’s productivity and the stability of your network (which will lower your IT support costs).