No one thinks that it’s fun to impose restrictions on your employees, but sometimes that is necessary in order to protect the company and the employees themselves, and keep the productivity level up. There are certain types of websites that have been reported to be very distracting and even disturbing for the work environment.
Before you move on to learn how to block websites, the question should be which types of websites should you block from your employees’ computers in order to protect them and the company while also increasing productivity in the workplace.
Social media today plays a big part in our lives. Not to get into a discussion about whether social media is inherently good or bad, we all have to admit that a lot of people nowadays are addicted to some extent.
Addicted individuals are getting consumed by these websites, constantly checking them in search of a minor dopamine rush every few minutes. Regardless of how this addiction influences people’s personal lives, it’s obvious that it’s bad for productivity at work.
These websites make it very hard for a lot of people to keep their focus when they are just one click away. Your employees will often subconsciously log into one of their social media accounts, even if they have the intention to stay focused.
That’s why you would be doing both your employees and yourself a favor by blocking these websites. That is, for everyone but for the staff that is actually doing the work on some of these websites (social media marketing, for example). Your employees would still be able to check their social media on their phones, but that would be much easier to notice and warn.
It’s obviously inappropriate to browse pornographic material from a work computer. You might not expect that from your employees, but there are people who are addicted to this kind of content and can hardly contain themselves from consuming it even at work.
Besides advising them to get help about their problem, you should definitely restrict them (and not only them) from consuming such content at work. It’s disturbing to their co-workers, disrespectful to the company, it’s very distracting and unproductive, and there’s a possibility that they are browsing for something illegal that could endanger your company.
By blocking such websites you would be protecting your employees and your company, while also increasing productivity in the office.
Video Streaming Websites
Some of the most common mediums for procrastination at work are video streaming services. Unlike social media, these websites usually require prolonged attention from the users. You can easily get sucked into an exciting episode of your favorite show, losing track of time and completely forgetting you’re at work for 20 minutes.
These websites are a serious obstacle for your employees’ concentration, so it would be wise to block them. However, you should carefully consider blocking websites like Youtube, because people often use them for work-related tutorials and advice that can come in handy.
Besides, your employees might be using Youtube to listen to music or podcasts on their headphones, which a lot of people find helpful to relax and focus on their work. Blocking such websites might cause frustration among your employees and significantly reduce productivity.
Gaming and Gambling Websites
Some of your employees may look like they’re really engaged in their work tasks, while actually playing games on internet gaming sites. While these games can be a useful tool for relaxing and increasing your focus during the breaks, they are usually very addictive and can be extremely distractive for your employees during work hours.
Gambling is a serious addiction that affects every aspect of an addict’s life. Besides gambling being very distracting and bad for productivity at work, it can lead to your employees’ financial and mental health problems, and you should care about your employees on a personal level.
The least you can do is not allow this to happen at your office and block gambling websites. You would be doing your employees a favor and keep the productivity level high.
Shopping was always considered to be a personal matter unrelated to work, but you would be surprised by how many people admit to having been shopping online at work. This has lately become another common addiction among American workers.
Among other factors, what makes these websites addictive and distracting from work are the auctions. These websites probably wouldn’t be a problem if your employees were only using them during the breaks or a few minutes during work hours, but they can spend hours bidding on their desired item, which is terrible for their focus to work.
Your employees have plenty of time for shopping, especially today when it can all be done from the comfort of their homes. You should probably leave the access to shopping websites to your office managers and ordering team. However, unless you’re in the e-commerce business, it’s advisable to block these websites in order to increase the productivity of your employees.
In this article, we have listed five types of websites most often recommended to block in the workplace according to their proven effect on the safety and productivity of employees. This doesn’t mean that every company should block all of the mentioned types of websites. This varies from company to company and depends on the branch of business you’re in.
For example, if your company is developing games, it would make no sense to block this type of website in the workplace; or if you’re running an e-commerce business, your employees would naturally need access to shopping websites.
You should be careful not to go too far with these restrictions, because it may frustrate your employees and lower their productivity. You obviously shouldn’t block Google, and we suggest that you also leave your employees access to Youtube and news websites, along with, of course, social media for marketers in your company.