Internet filters have become a popular tool for those business managers that are concerned about their employees’ personal use of the Internet during company hours. In fact, these types of web filters have been used by everyone from corporations to governmental agencies to parents trying to protect their children from questionable Internet sites. In fact, a recent study showed that over 40 percent of small companies in the U.S. utilize some form of web filtering to manage their employees’ Internet use.

While these filtering options may work in some situations, unfortunately they don’t solve the problem in a business setting. Look at it this way: the real problem with inappropriate Internet use during business hours is the fact that it makes your employees less productive. So your goal is to solve the problem and make your employees work harder. While Internet filtering may restrict access to inappropriate or undesirable websites, it will not make your employees more productive.

Consider the recent rise in the popularity of smart phones. Chances are that the vast majority of your employees have smart phones with Internet access. That means that even though you may be employing Web Filters to control their access to websites from their computers at work, they will still have access to whatever sites they choose through their smart phones. In other words, Internet filtering has been rendered virtually useless because of the new smart phone technology.

The amazing social media phenomenon only serves to make it more appealing for employees to spend their work hours on the Internet for personal use. Whether it’s communicating with friends and family on Facebook, updating their resumes on Linkedin, or whatever the social media site may be, there are plenty of opportunities for your employees to engage in non-work-related activities on their smart phones. So how do you convince them to be productive instead?

If the real problem is low productivity on the part of your employees, why not direct your efforts toward solving the real problem rather than just limiting Internet access? Imagine if there were a software package that actually measured the amount of productive time your employees spend at their computers each day. Once an employee’s productive time is measured, the business manager can set about finding ways to motivate the employee to become more productive.

Using this method to solve the problem means that you’re approaching it from a positive mindset rather than from a negative one. In other words, rather than focusing on the negative behavior of wasting time on inappropriate Internet sites during work hours, you’re recognizing the amount of productive time that the same employee is engaged in each day.

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