If you have access to a computer at work, it’s easy to get sidetracked and waste time on the clock. In fact, most employees admit to wasting part of their day on non-work-related activities, with 48% of those employees wasting time by using the Internet, according to a study completed by Salary.com. Are you one of them? Whether you are, or have just thought about it, here are five things to avoid doing on the Internet at work. After all, it’s the company’s dime and the company’s time, and it’s doubtful you’re getting paid to not work.
Socializing – If you have a MySpace or Facebook account, you might be tempted to spend some time updating yours, but don’t do it. Using your personal account probably won’t help you in your career unless you’re in a very niche field, so stay away from your social network while you’re on the job. Some companies even restrict access to social media sites like these specifically to keep employees from wasting time there.
Personal Business – You might use the Internet to pay your bills or make a doctor’s appointment, but it’s best to limit these activities to a non-work computer. Make sure you pay your bills from home, or use a public computer lab to take care of your personal business. This can also be a security issue. Some companies monitor keystrokes, so by typing in your password, you may accidentally give it away. Taking time on the clock to use the Internet at work for personal use shows your employer your lack of commitment to get the job done that you’re paid to do.
Job Hunting – Looking for another job while you’re still on the job is a big no-no. If you’re looking for a new opportunity and the Internet is at your fingertips, it might be tempting to search job postings online, but don’t do it. Respect your supervisor, co-worker, and company by completing a job search on your own time using your own resources.
E-mailing – You might be able to check your e-mail from anywhere you are as long as you have an Internet connection. But it’s best not to check your personal e-mail at work using the company’s Internet. You also need to be careful about using your work e-mail for personal use. All of your work e-mails are owned by your company, and even if you delete them, they can be re-accessed. Use your own time to catch up with long lost friends and forward chain e-mails to your family instead of wasting time at work. Instead, spend your time learning a new skill or helping out a co-worker.
Shopping – Online shopping is easy and convenient, but when it has no relation to your job, leave your shopping habits at home. Don’t be tempted to use the company’s Internet to buy the latest DVD or a new pair of jeans. Instead, run to the store on your lunch break, or shop on the weekends when you’re not on company time. Also, your credit card could be vulnerable to hacking when you use it at work.
The Internet makes almost everything easier and more convenient these days. But, it can be a hindrance in your job, or even in your career, if you abuse the privileges you were given at work. So, avoid using the Internet inappropriately at work, and give your best to the job you have. Trying to fight the urge to surf the Internet? Check out these ways to use your extra time wisely.