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Best Practices of Monitoring the Use of the Internet in Your Organization

Best Practices of Monitoring the Use of the Internet in Your Organization

Some entrepreneurs prefer to go for extensive filtering and blocking of their employees. However, it is more beneficial to implement an employee’s monitored internet access in the workplace.

The most important thing is to pay close consideration to the network uses that you intend to monitor. Practices that are overly intuitive may create a negative perception that the bosses are watching what the employees are doing. Some of these practices can create discomfort and frustration among employees. Therefore, you should use a two-pronged approach if you want to have a successful internet monitoring strategy. These include workforce consideration/education and intuitive monitoring.

In this article, we will be looking at the best practices of monitoring the use of the internet in your organization. The most important thing is to make sure that there is a harmonious working environment between the employees and their employer.

Allow a Particular Level of Recreational or Personal Utilization

It is impractical and virtually impossible to prohibit all personal utilization of the internet in most workplaces. You can enhance your workplace and create a more productive workforce by allowing a particular amount of monitored online recreation. According to research findings by Dr. Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne, employees who surf the internet for fun, within reasonable limits of at most 20% of the total office time are more productive by approximately 9% over those who don’t. Therefore, it is good to allow your employees to have some recreational time over the internet as you monitor them.

Allow a Certain Level of Unmonitored Utilization

One of the recurring concerns while monitoring the utilization of the internet in the workplace is the privacy of the employees. You may discover that your employees are working more extended hours than before and may wish to deal with some urgent personal matters online during working hours. For example, you can state clearly and make sure that no monitoring takes place during lunch hours. The employees will trust that their privacy is critical to the employer and this will not have any adverse effects on their productivity. One thing employers need to understand is that GDPR is transparency and you cannot overlook this element.

Establish Internet Utilization Policies That Are Acceptable

As an entrepreneur, you will have to establish policies around the use of the internet in your organization. The starting point is to explain the reasons behind monitoring, and they need to be related to the business. You should clearly state what you consider to be unproductive or productive activities. If you allow a certain level of unmonitored or/and personal utilization during particular hours of the day make sure you outline the specifications that these privileges cover. Make sure you clearly state what you prohibit as an employer. For instance, you can forbid accessing or sending pornographic, defamatory, harassing, or discriminatory material, and downloading and the distribution of copyrighted materials without the permission of the author. Don’t forget to include the consequences of violating this policy. All employees should know the internet use policy of your organization.

Use of an Open and Honest Monitoring Approach

There is a direct relationship between the awareness of employees about the content of the policy and the subsequent breach consequences. After developing your crystal clear policies, make sure you distribute, publish, and communicate them actively so that your employees can precisely understand what you expect from them and the working environment conditions.

Allowing Employees to View Their Internet Usage

This recommendation is among the best for any employer. There is a tendency of employees underestimating the amount of time they spend on non-work related sites. Therefore, you need to allow your employees to view their non-productive and productive activities as this will help you to foster and drive responsible internet utilization behaviour. Workers who underestimate the cost of their unproductive activities to the organization will likely accept the monitoring activities and hence modify their behaviour accordingly. The most important thing is for employees to understand some advantages if monitoring your computer activity and they will appreciate the whole idea.

Monitoring the Entire Organization Including the Managers

Make sure that all employees know you are tracking the whole organization and not individual departments or users. This approach will reduce the possibility of some people feeling that they are mistreated or singled out by the organization. Employees will welcome this idea if they think that you are treating them with dignity and respect. Such a workforce will embrace the idea of internet monitoring, and this will enhance its effectiveness.

Assist Workers to Stick to the Rules

If you set some limits, for instance, at most ten hours of recreational surfing each month, it is good to alert your employees as they approach the set limit. You will need some features like work time tracking to achieve this objective. It will grant your employees an exclusive opportunity of modifying their behaviour before violating the acceptable internet utilization policy.

Distribution of Reports and Responsibility

In most cases, IT administrators and managers have the ultimate responsibility of enforcing, managing, and communicating the acceptable internet utilization standards of the whole organization. At some point, it is good to take part of this pressure from the IT department by distributing the internet activity reports of the organization to the responsible heads of departments or managers. It will help them to understand the effects of internet utilization on the performance and security of their departments.

Protect the Privacy of Your Employees

keen to protect the personal data of your employees as you distribute the organization’s internet utilization reports. The monitoring tool that you choose has to protect the privacy policy of users by only allowing the authorized users the view the identity of your workers. For example, the network administrator may want to investigate all the traffic that is going to a specific site, but there is no need to know the usernames. Therefore, the usernames should be anonymous to this team but visible by the HR department.


Go for a monitoring tool that easily allows you to automate and customize most of these guidelines for your organization. These tips will help you to monitor how your employees are using their time on the internet so that they can remain to be productive.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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