Internet and E-mail Usage

A growing number of companies are implementing Internet and e-mail policies. Some companies will allow a moderate use of company e-mail for personal use, just as they do the telephone, as long as it does not distract the employee from work. Others strictly prohibit the use of company e-mail and the Internet, and this is a good idea since it cuts into productivity and company profits. If employees who have their own desk and computer are not allowed to use e-mail or the Internet for personal use, then supervisors and managers should set a good example and stay away, too.

If employees are allowed to use the Internet or e-mail, have a policy against the distribution of jokes, pictures, or slogans that may be offensive to other employees. A good rule of thumb is to avoid sharing anything that wouldn't be appropriate to hang on the wall at work.

Employees may be under the misconception that since they have to use a login ID and password to access company e-mail, that their correspondence is private. This is not the case. All communications, even those that have been deleted, are detectible on the company's computer network. Let the employees know this so that they are aware that there is no confidentiality with their e-mail and Internet usage. This will also give them a fair chance to stop the Internet and e-mail usage before they are caught.

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