I’m Gettin’ Paid for Web Surfing at this Very Moment
According to this article, a judge has told the New York City Council that they can’t fire someone simply for browsing the internet during the workday. The worker, Toquir Choudhri, had served the Department of Education for 14 years. The City Council tried to fire him when they discovered him looking at travel and news sites online. Nice loyalty, huh?
I absolutely agree with the judge’s ruling. The internet has become such a part of our lives now, that it is synonymous with reading the paper or watching CNN. Now, I’m not advocating going out and looking at porn sites or even trolling message forums and chat rooms. I’m just talking about general news searches and information gathering. Most of the time, for myself, when I browse the net, I am looking at news/info sites or I’m on Google looking at tech sites for an answer to a problem. I’ll also check and answer email, but, if you ask me, this has become such a common communication tool for so many people, it’s become analogous to talking on the phone. Instead of calling someone up and seeing how things are going, I’ll email them. The same is true for most people.
If you don’t want people using the internet, then block it with firewalls. I’ve been to several client sites that blocked certain domains from being accessed. Many of my clients blocked popular job searching sites Monster and CareerBuiler.com. Many others blocked sites suspected of inappropriate subject matter. It all depends. I think, though, that internet use has become so benign and widespread, that in downtime at work, when nothing is going on, you should be able to check a few websites as if you were thumbing through the morning’s paper.