Personal use of internet at work.

(39 Posts)
MarianneSolong Sun 10-Jul-16 09:39:34

Can I just ask people what policies they have in place re any personal use of internet in the workplace.

Is it a complete no? Or is very limited, occasional use - i.e. not hours on social media, Mumsnet - left up to individual discretion, provided people are working hard, doing what need to be done.

It's come up as an issue in my workplace, and obviously it will vary place to place - but am just interested in what goes on for other Mumsnetters.

throwingpebbles Sun 10-Jul-16 09:44:49

Sites are restricted during core hours, but it can be a bit of a pain when doing research! Outside core hours there's a recognition that someone might want to use the Internet for personal use during their lunch break etc but we are expected to clock out to do so.

In reality I expect the odd 5 minutes here or there would be overlooked!

If I have been focussing intensly on a piece of legal research or drafting, then at some point my brain needs a rest for a few minutes. I prefer to chat to a colleague but see nothing particularly wrong with checking the news or something either.

MangoIsTheNewApple Sun 10-Jul-16 09:51:55

We have a policy which boils down to not taking the piss. Checking the news or sports results in your lunch break is fine, live streaming a football match while pretending to work is not. And obviously nothing in any way dodgy.

NoTractorsAtTheTable Sun 10-Jul-16 09:52:51

We have access to the internet at 10am and 3pm for 15 minutes each time. That's it. Youtube is blocked, but you can get on most email and social media sites. We deal with some sensitive data so mobile phones are also banned at all times.

Our office is quite specialised though, so it's not like we have to research anything online. If that was to happen, there's a PC with unlimited access that can be used - but IT monitor everything that is searched. It's a bit draconian, but there have been security issues in the past, so it's understandable.

treaclesoda Sun 10-Jul-16 09:54:16

Can use it for personal use during lunch break. In reality a quick check of eg the news or looking up a phone number or something during working hours would be overlooked though.

YolandiFuckinVisser Sun 10-Jul-16 09:57:39

Blanket ban on anything not work related, even at lunch time (we have a rest area upstairs with a couple of computers for lunchtime use). We are also not allowed personal phones on our desks or to eat àt our desks.

MarianneSolong Sun 10-Jul-16 09:57:54

Thanks pebbles/

It's actually the news that is a bone of contention. I've been occasionally checking a news website when my brain's needed a rest. While also taking care to the job done. However my line manager is very unhappy with it and brought it up in an appraisal, saying I must stop. It was an odd appraisal because I've been working hard and successfully at a time of transition, but she wasn't making any positive comments about this.

My colleagues stop now and then to chat to each other - and also sometimes go online in work hours to buy things of Amazon, check the football, book holidays - so there doesn't appear to be a consistent policy re internet. (I'm a part-timer and don't tend to get included in the conversations, or have the same breaks as them. I think maybe I've been checking re current affairs partly because of feeling like 'the new one' isolated, despite having taking on various additional responsibilities and having been in the job for three years)

SlowJinn Sun 10-Jul-16 09:58:22

Limited occasional use, no use of social media or personal email accounts, and sites like this one are blocked. Anyone taking the piss gets a rollicking. I had to urgently transfer some money to my stranded overseas daughter recently and used the work computer to access online banking, but it was during my break and it took 3 minutes.

Hatgirl Sun 10-Jul-16 09:59:19

Local authority:

No access to personal email or Facebook at all (blocked). No financial transactions or personal Internet banking allowed.

Access to Internet browsing using work equipment outside of work hours or during lunch breaks providing it does not bring the local authority into disrepute, is legal and is not being used to run a private business.

Work emails are for work only but some reasonable use is allowed if necessary to organise home and family life e.g to email your other half to say you are working late.

MarianneSolong Sun 10-Jul-16 10:03:08

Oh the other thing, is that my working hours are shifts of a few hours. So I don't get breaks at work. This is all part of me having a general think about working conditions. It's useful to have the points of comparison. Before my present job I was mainly working from home, so there wasn't really this kind of issue.

SlowJinn Sun 10-Jul-16 10:03:29

Can I ask a question of any IT folk on here? One of my workmates regularly accesses Facebook using a proxy, then deletes her browsing history at the end of the day. I'm pretty sure IT will still be able to see her internet activity, is that right?

NoTractorsAtTheTable Sun 10-Jul-16 10:09:30

Marianne - it sounds like a big adjustment, I would be feeling a bit 'fish out of water' too. If your boss has brought it up during your appraisal, I think you have to knock it on the head, as unfair as it might feel. Can you stretch your legs for a few minutes away from your desk - go get a drink of water or something?

SlowJinn - using a proxy is grounds for dismissal at our place - as it's a deliberate attempt to undermine IT policy (or something like that)

NoTractorsAtTheTable Sun 10-Jul-16 10:10:54

ah, pressed enter too soon - so yes, I think IT would be able to still see that activity, if they were to look for it.

akkakk Sun 10-Jul-16 10:12:21

Depends how IT track it... If they track within her browser then yes they can see it, if they track within the routers or switches then they will only see the connection to the proxy, not the connection through the proxy to Facebook... The connection through the proxy is usually encrypted...

However there is rarely a genuine need to use a proxy server, so that in itself should through up issues...

Freshprincess Sun 10-Jul-16 10:14:03

Anything goes at our place. We are an IT company though, so anyone downloading dodgy stuff of BitTorrent would be found out fairly quickly. When England played Wales loads of people were live streaming it (I was on my iPad).
I use my phone for personal browsing though, as I don't want my history being stored somewhere.

LokisUnderpants Sun 10-Jul-16 10:16:59

I work at a big tech company. Internet is unrestricted, it's an unwritten trust policy. I have had to have a chat with a very junior member of the team I manage recently as every time I looked at his monitor he was on Facebook. With the more senior members I don't take notice as the work is always done so if they're on Amazon, Daily Fail, whatever I don't care.

chipsandpeas Sun 10-Jul-16 10:17:25

in our work place its technically on our own time we can access the internet ie breaks, lunch
but generally its ignored unless your taking the piss - now i have a new manager who is being a bit sticky about the internet uage in our team
however if your manager has already mentioned your usage to you then maybe you need to stay off it and check thing on your phone if you need that break

OutToGetYou Sun 10-Jul-16 10:20:42

They would see the proxy use but not what was used within it.
One guy I had to dismiss, where Internet use was one of the issues, was suspicious because his Internet use via the Co showed nothing at all other than work related searches. We knew this couldn't be right so then we looked further and found the proxy (it was a bit more complex than that, he had secluded off a specific static ip address which he then gave open permission where generally we had mobile ip addresses and restrictions) once we got that we could see all sorts.

But if it's a 'normal' IT report it probably won't be spotted, they'd need to know to go looking for it.

EBearhug Sun 10-Jul-16 20:03:45

One of my workmates regularly accesses Facebook using a proxy, then deletes her browsing history at the end of the day. I'm pretty sure IT will still be able to see her internet activity, is that right?

In the last week or so, we had a mail about how access via proxies is definitely not allowed. Reading between the lines, I think someone may have been sacked for it.

As OutToGetYou says, they will see the proxy use, but not exactly what is accessed, which is why it's banned.

Deleting the browsing history will not make any difference - we log everything anyway, even if local history has gone, and traces can be set up if HR thinks there's a need. And it's really horrible, having to go through internet logs as part of an investigation to see what people have been doing.

Our policy allows limited personal use, but if it's causing problems with productivity, that will be taken up. All webmail has been blocked since someone introduced a virus that way. They've also introduced a really annoying policy of blocking any sites not already known, which you can request to have unblocked, but if you're searching for something then and there, it's really annoying to have to wait for it to be unblocked when you request it.

People do stream stuff like big sports events, but they've also been known to put them up on the big screens which are actually meant to show lists of problem tickets and the like.

lljkk Sun 10-Jul-16 20:27:51

Ours boils down to not taking the mick. I have to go online very frequently for work, sometimes even onto FB.

ABCAlwaysBeCunting Sun 10-Jul-16 20:34:59

No real restrictions apart from (obviously) dodgy sites. I often look at news, email, shopping, the odd bit of Facebook but not much, blogs, etc during work hours. Essentially, like nearly everyone else I work with, I fit the odd bit of browsing around my work.

RiverTam Sun 10-Jul-16 20:42:52

Never been an issue anywhere I've worked. We need to use the Internet all the time anyway, but as long as you get the work done no-one cares if you spend the odd few minutes in FB or mumsnet or news sites. During big events people often have them running in the background. This is in a creative industry.

RiverTam Sun 10-Jul-16 20:44:33

I remember once being in a meeting, where I was checking the US elections whilst something dull was happening (I was legitimately on a laptop) and I blurted out 'oh no, the Republicans have won Ohio!' or some such, the CEO was sitting next to me and immediately looked over to see what was happening!

Ditsy4 Sun 10-Jul-16 20:51:29

Break and lunchtime ok, during work never! Unless it was to do with work.
Can't believe some people go on Facebook etc.but then some are so addicted. I watched a woman in her fifties scroll her phone constantly while in the dining area of a country pub. She had her husband and son with her and was constantly on her phone in the restaurant area. I think it is so rude. Her husband mentioned it but she carried on until her main course arrived.

Mrscog Sun 10-Jul-16 21:04:03

We have a fairly open system - access to social media/you tube etc as we often use it. As a manager I just have a don't take the piss policy - 5 mins here and there to check weather/Facebook/news/ etc not a problem as far as I'm concerned. If it begins to affect productivity or work standard I'd have a chat.

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