Sunday, February 8, 2009
Restricting Internet access at work
Another issue that could impact on the eMentoring project I am managing, is how much people are 'allowed' to access the Internet at work.
Restricting the Internet at work
What I am rapidly realising is that a lot of employers are very reluctent to let their employees have full access to the Internet. Only the other day I was talking to an employer who had had to restrict use of the Internet because employees were abusing it, and spending all their time on Facebook and eBay. And the employer's system was flooded by spam as a result.
How do I answer employers when they indentify these sorts of problems? How can I work with employers to encourage them to allow full access to the Internet, yet educate employees about responsibile use of the Internet?
Fun and work
I have talked before that the delineation between work and play will become increasingly blurred. The 2008 Pew/Internet report "The future of the Internet" re-enforces this view and says "The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected."
I wouldn't have a problem with my employees using Facebook as long as the work was done. At the same time, I would look at how I could channel people's interest and skills at social networking into more 'professional' activites to facilitate learning in the workplace - eMentoring being one such activity.
My challenge as manager of the eMentoring project, is to find ways of selling this to employers in aged and community care. I believe one important way of doing this is to model how social networking can be incorporated into work practices. So I am going to start with using Google Documents to develop all the documentation for the project, especially those documents that I am collaborating on.
Does your employer restrict your use of the Internet at work? If so, how do you feel about that? If you are an employer, what are the issues you face with regard the Internet and employees' use of it?
Image: 'Ward at Alpha Hospital' tahitianlime