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Internet at work

(62 Posts)
Bernie52 Fri 30-Oct-15 16:32:36

Hi everyone. Bit of a Friday question. My first one so but nervous :-). I have been working for my boss for nearly 16 months now and I (like everyone) go on the Internet at work. Not all the time but sometimes I like to have a good look around. I work hard for my boss and often work late so therefore sometimes I might spend longer than a lunchtime on the net. Someone 'grassed' on me to the hr team and now I've been invited to a disciplinary about my internet usage. Can I get fired for going on the Internet at work? Everyone else seems to!?! Really worried.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Fri 30-Oct-15 16:34:09

What does your contract say?

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Oct-15 16:35:30

Well if you are using the Internet (not for work related stuff) whilst work are paying you or looking at inappropriate content I'm guessing you could be in trouble.
Never mind what everyone else does. If you are being paid to work then work! confused

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Fri 30-Oct-15 16:35:40

Do you have an internet and social media policy. For someone to report you you must be on it a lot, or not discretely!

NerrSnerr Fri 30-Oct-15 16:36:14

Do you have an internet policy? I know we have an acceptable use thing we sign when we join. How long are you actually online during the day?

MrPorky Fri 30-Oct-15 16:36:34

Is there an internet policy?

I think sacking is unlikely, unless you've been spending a lot longer than you break time, regularly, or you've been looking at something inappropriate.

Bernie52 Fri 30-Oct-15 16:38:29

Probably about 2 hours each day but intermittently so just keep it on. I am contracted to work 8 hours a day but often work 10-11.

I'm just doing the odd thing like banking and stuff.

Surely it's not gross misconduct to look on net???

MrsLeighHalfpenny Fri 30-Oct-15 16:40:19

And what were you looking at? There's a big difference between reading the Guardian and looking at porn!

rookiemere Fri 30-Oct-15 16:41:22

Our work has a very specific internet policy and I think 45 mins per day during lunch break is what's permitted.
Two hours a day is long, but if you have evidence to back up your working hours and you don't get paid overtime for it, then hopefully that will be taken into account.

greatbigwho Fri 30-Oct-15 16:41:25

I know my last job it was written in our contracts that we were not to access the Internet for personal reasons during working hours and I know of several people who had disciplinaries for Internet usage, and one who was let go.

If you're contracted for 8 hours a day and spending 2 hours a day online for personal reasons, that's a quarter of your working day!

MrsLeighHalfpenny Fri 30-Oct-15 16:41:46

Two hours??? No wonder. That's 25% of your working day. Would need to stay 10 hours if you didn't spend 2 on t'internet?

MrPorky Fri 30-Oct-15 16:42:50

It could be, if policy says it is.

2 hours a day is a long time. You need to be working during the actual working hours, even if you then work late, that's your choice. As a one off, when you have something special you need to do, with permission, fair enough, but not everyday.

Like people who are regularly late or take extended lunch hours because they always work late. That's not on either IMO.

rookiemere Fri 30-Oct-15 16:44:09

Also silly question maybe, but if you're on for 2 hrs a day and working 10hrs - would you not be better to actually work 8 hrs a day and save your surfing until you're at home?

Queenbean Fri 30-Oct-15 16:44:29

Those getting their knickers in a twist about being on for 2 hours a day, she does say:

i am contracted to work 8 hours a day but often work 10-11.

Depending on what your contract says, you could be in trouble yes. But I'd explain the above. Don't really understand why you'd spend an extra few hours of the day at work just to surf the Internet though

FartyTette Fri 30-Oct-15 16:46:12

2hrs each day sounds a lot yo me! Subsistute "reading a magazine" or "chatting on the phone to my mates" and it doesn't sound quite so reasonable. Also if you gave personal stuff running on your PC you're not reaally focused on your job 100%.

MrPorky Fri 30-Oct-15 16:46:13

I don't think it's relevant that OP works 10-11 hours a day. During the core working hours, when everyone else is working, she needs to be working. It's her choice if she works longer than that.

BackforGood Fri 30-Oct-15 16:48:02

Like Rookie - I'm puzzled why you spend so long in your work building, if not actually working. confused

2 hours a day is a massive amount of time. It wouldn't occur to me to go MNing or internet banking or shopping or surfing generally if I were at work. I'm surprised you think it's OK to spen 1/4 of your paid hours, not actually doing any work.

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Oct-15 16:54:26

You say you "keep it on" so it could look like you are constantly on the Internet.
I'm sure you wouldn't be sacked for doing Internet banking at lunch time. But faffing about when they are paying you to work isn't good.
You're not at work now are you?

ArkhamOffitt Fri 30-Oct-15 16:57:08

That is excessive. I would go into the disciplinary and assure them you will not access the Internet on their time again.

LittlePie14 Fri 30-Oct-15 17:04:27

I often have pages still open in the background. But I rarely take a solid hours lunch because my job doesnt always allow it...and I work my lunch around my working day. I may take 30mins at 11.30 to pop out whilst it's quiet, then when bosses are in meetings I may spend another 30mins reading or doing bills/banking etc. If you've worked hard for your boss and they know that, then I wouldn't worry about it. They probably have to give you a ticking off for it as it's company policy. Just dont go overcommitting to it - one day you may be 15mins, another an hour.

If you're doing longer days and unpaid and that's not down to your internet usage then fine. If you spend an hour and 30mins doing personal stuff, and spend an extra 30mins (assuming you get an hour for lunch) at the end of the day, then say that

bloodyteenagers Fri 30-Oct-15 17:06:56

2 hours?
That's a lot.
Depending on how your system is set out, doesn't have to be anyone grassing you. All usage is logged.

Of course your there for 10 hours, 2 of those hours are not working.. That's probably what causes them to look further into what you are doing to see if your work load was too much.

Ours you get called in for a formal meeting where a document is produced of all the hours you are surfing the net. Reminded of the policy you signed and the implications of this that it can lead to gross misconduct. A warning is given on the understanding that next time you will be handed your notice..
Or, if you've had other warnings then you will be fired.
We have done both.

You browse in your own time.

You also have to understand that you are in a precarious situation as you have been there less than 2 years and can be sacked very easily.

rookiemere Fri 30-Oct-15 17:12:55

Littlepie14 - I wouldn't be leaving pages open in the background - that's a recipe for sure trouble. Hard to argue your own case when records show internet being used 8 hrs a day. Much safer to only open it when you use it in your breaks.

rookiemere Fri 30-Oct-15 17:14:53

Oh and when you do go in for your meeting here's what I would do:
1) If you haven't been shown or don't know where to find one then ask if an internet policy exists
2) Explain your working hours
3) Don't mention what everyone else does - it's simply not relevant
4) Eat humble pie and agree with whatever they say, even if that means no internet at work at all, better to have a job than not.

LittlePie14 Fri 30-Oct-15 17:30:05

rookiemere I work in IT and it is indeed based on open windows rather than clicks per page. Luckily the policy here is there, but it's understood and they focus more WHAT sites are visited rather than those that on for longer periods of time.
But I am generally careful. But if I'm reading up on stuff then it stays open.

Bernie52 Fri 30-Oct-15 17:49:40

Thanks everyone. I do work but just get distracted very easy although I am not looking at illegal sites or anything. I am also often reading up on competitors and industry news as I am in sales. I feel really bad now :-(

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