The high cost of Internet, e-mail abuse

Misuse of technology by employees hurts productivity, can damage reputation
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/31/2005

When desktop computers became commonplace in the work environment, employees found they could use them to play solitaire. When companies began providing e-mail access to employees, offensive jokes began to circulate freely.

As desktop Internet access has become more common, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people accessing pornographic websites during work hours. As more companies provide employees with portable devices such as a Blackberry, employees are using them to gamble online. And as more employees are given laptop computers, they have found they can use them to download copyrighted music and movies at home.

The reason any employer adopts or introduces new technology in the workplace is because it believes it will increase productivity and efficiency. But they also make it very easy for employees to engage in behaviour that is anything but productive.