When talking about monitoring and reporting organizational Internet usage it is often automatically assumed that bad behaviour, security concerns and acute issues are the focus of attention. You want to find out exactly why your bandwidth costs have increased enormously, who is taking advantage of your online resources, what activity can pose a security threat to your organization, where that virus came from and why it slipped through your firewall?
In all fairness these are all critical aspects worth attention but what about the rest? What about the legitimate activity on your network? What can you benefit from monitoring and reporting on legitimate, or good, internet activity?
As always when writing a blog I Google the topic to get some extra material, see what has previously been written and ensure I’m not just repeating what someone else is already saying. After all I want to give the readers WebSpy’s unique view on matters. For this blog I don’t have to worry about any repetitiveness. Ten minutes fierce Google investigation did not produce a single page on how or why good web activity should be monitored. I even tried Bing with the same unsatisfying outcome.
So here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth, 3 reasons to monitor and report on good web activity:
1. Investigate Software as a Service (SaaS) Usage
Reliance on SaaS is increasing rapidly. You’re hopefully saving money thanks to its on demand license abilities, but could you save even more? Let’s say you are paying a monthly fee based on a 500 user license. You start monitor the traffic to this specific SaaS and notice that during the last 3 month only 300 employees are actively using it. With this new information at hand you immediately change your license subscription, pay less every month and everyone wins. Well, maybe not the SaaS provider.
2. Reward and Encourage Change in Behaviour
You are sick and tired of paying expensive phone bills and want your employees to start relying on using Skype as much as they possibly can. Now, it comes as no surprise that changing ones behaviour, at work or in private, doesn’t just happen overnight. It often requires a bit of time, control and motivation. You therefore start monitoring organizational use of Skype and reward those employees who start using it extensively and work on further encouraging the ones who don’t.
3. Encourage Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB)
Those of you keeping up with latest Internet productivity research would be well aware of the University of Melbourne’s latest study. Dr Brent Coker found that WILB actually increases employee concentration levels and helps make a more productive workforce. Coker states that, “People who do surf the Internet for fun at work – within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office – are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t.” He continues to explain that people need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration and short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself. This leads to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity.
In this day and age, when employees are working harder and longer hours, it is important that employers are making sure their workforce is allowed, and make use of, well deserved breaks. Especially if it makes employees more satisfied and productive in the long run.
Simply state the amount of WILB you think is acceptable, monitor organizational WILB activity and encourage employees who do not take a WILB break every now and then to do so.
I’ve picked some specific reasons and example to illustrate the benefits but there are obviously many more. Perhaps I’ll continue to add to these reasons or perhaps you can comment with your own examples? If you have experienced benefits from monitoring legitimate web activity then please share it with us! Either comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Note: Existing and prospective WebSpy clients are invited to participate in a follow-up WILB study carried out by Dr Brent Coker, from the University of Melbourne, himself. We strongly encourage our clients to get involved in this unique opportunity to get a concrete insight into how WILB affects their organization’s operations specifically and proactively take measures to create a more harmonious and productive working environment. In a sense Dr Coker’s expertise and findings can be considered a free consultancy to ensure organizational Internet investment is used to its full potential.