A lot of companies have realized that the popularity of sites like Facebook is starting to impact productivity and are putting measures in place to prevent people from using them. You may be able to beat the system, but should you?
For those who have been unpleasantly surprised to find that their Facebook or eBay addiction has been cramped by a corporate firewall, I’ve got some good news. Free proxy services on the web offer a way to fool your firewall into letting you surf wherever you like. So problem solved – if your IT group puts up a roadblock, just bypass it.
At least that’s Chris Null’s take on the corporate filter situation.
Chris thinks that as long as your job doesn’t involve flipping burgers or some other kind of manual labour in which something has to happen every minute of every hour, you should go right ahead and circumvent your company’s restrictive IT policy if you can.
I’m tempted to agree with this assessment, as I’m one of the lucky ones who gets judged by my overall results and not how much I got done in a single day. I’m pretty sure that my boss isn’t going to call me into her office if she catches me on YouTube or perhaps doing some personal e-mail.
But many folks out there are working in environments where things are more rigid and where policies strictly prohibit certain kinds of behaviour, including surfing sites that aren’t directly related to business. Do their employers have the right to make these stipulations regarding "e-conduct"? In a word, yes.
As much as it probably frustrates those who feel they ought to be able to do as they wish on a company’s computer, so long as it isn’t illegal or unethical, the fact is you will probably face some sort of disciplinary action if you get caught doing it against established policy.
So there you have it: a set of e-rules that prevent you from wasting, er, spending time on non-work-related sites and a possible way to get around them.
And here’s the question: Should you be able to decide for yourself what sites you get to use while at work, even if your company has forbidden it?