Survey Says: Employers’ Policies on Technology in the Workplace

Employers know that e-mail between employees can be dangerous.  Employers know that the Internet can all but eliminate the productivity of their employees.  But what do employers know about Instant Messaging, weblogs, chat rooms, and wikis?  And, more importantly, what are they doing about it? HR Hero’s survey gives some insight into the answers to these questions.

Survey Says . . .

HR Hero has released the results an interesting survey on policies (or lack thereof) for workplace technology.  There is a link to the full survey below but here are some highlights:

Policies for Technology Use.  Not surprisingly, most employers (89%) have policies both on employees’ internet and e-mail usage.  What was surprising, to me anyway, is that there are still employers (5%) with essentially no policies on workplace technology.

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E-mail Usage Policies.  Only a fraction of respondents (3%), did not put any limits on employees’ use of the company’s e-mail  systems.  Nearly all (80%) have policies expressly prohibiting inappropriate e-mails.  And more than half (61%) permit personal e-mail so long as it is not excessive.  A surprisingly large number (34%), of employers do not permit employees to send any personal e-mails.

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Internet Usage Policies.  Like e-mail policies, nearly all employers (82%) prohibit employees from visiting websites.  28% of employers limit employees’ internet access to approved websites only.  A small number of employers had either no internet usage policy at all (3%) or put no limitations on usage (3%).

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Internet & E-Mail Monitoring Policies.  Just over half (58%) of employers that responded monitor internet use but only if they suspect abuse.  Almost the same amount (61%) did the same for e-mail.  Less than one-fifth of respondents regularly monitor e-mail use (19%) but internet monitoring seems to be more common (27%).

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Blogging.  Most employers have not started to use blogs as part of their business activity.  Of those who have (12%), approximately equal numbers are putting blogs to work as part of their marketing (4%), and public relations (3%), efforts.  Others are blogging to communicate both internally within the company (3%), and externally with clients (1%).  image

The entire survey, Technology and HR 2008, can be seen at the HR Hero website.

Special Note for Delaware Employers

Delaware employers should be aware that state law mandates that notice be given before monitoring employees’ internet or e-mail usage. The law is specific in the way that notice must be given.  Although there are alternatives, the most common way is with a written consent form signed by each employee.

For more information on how to comply with Delaware’s internet and e-mail monitoring law, contact any of the attorneys in YCST‘s Employment Law Department.

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