Fired from your job for abusing the internet? Good.

The life of an employee is so unfair. I mean... the employer actually has silly ideas like you need to show up and you need to do work. What kind of nonsense is that? Work? You mean while at the workplace? Come on. Isn't it enough that I showed up for you? You should feel privileged to have me here!

And so it goes in the minds of many employees today. I swear that the work ethic has to be at an all-time low in America. Never before have employees been so unmotivated to do their jobs. Never before have employees felt entitled to be paid ridiculous sums of money even if they don't do their jobs.

And now we have even more sad news for these employees... 50% of companies say that they fire employees who abuse email and internet access. And I say "good." The reasons for firing the employees range from accessing pornography, to violating company confidentiality rules, to sending offensive emails. Whatever the reason, employees should be aware that their internet usage can be monitored and they will be disciplined for abuse.
In the past, I had an employee who spent her days searching for things like "broccoli sprouts" instead of doing her job. And I was supposed to pay her for this? She even went so far as to create her resume (on company time) and email it to prospective new employers (also on company time).

I think most managers and business owners would agree with me: If you are an outstanding employee who always gets your work done and generally follows all the rules, I don't care if you do a few personal emails or shop eBay a little. If your personal use of the internet isn't impacting your job performance, I don't care.

But if an employee is spending lots of time on the internet while neglecting work duties, that's where I draw the line. Work is work, and you get paid to do your work, not to surf the 'net. So if you're at work right now, and you're reading this post, get back to work!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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