In the modern age of the typical office, the computer is a necessity. It used to be that only the boss or managers had access to the computer, but now almost every employee in the building has one on their desk. Most job descriptions cannot even function without having a computer to input data, create spreadsheets, pay invoices, communicate throughout the company, write proposals, etc. The computer is a necessity in just about every workplace.
With having a computer at your fingertips comes great responsibility. The PC is a great tool for work, but there are many problems that can be caused by it as well. Viruses from internet and email can corrupt the system, and time on the clock can turn into hours and hours of web surfing and playing around and not working. Most companies have procedures when it comes to computer, email, and Internet usage during business. Playing by these rules usually will keep your IT department as well as your manager happy. But not abiding could cause you to be written up or even terminated.
As a former human resources manager, I witnessed a lot of company misuse when it came to the computer. There were employees who opened attachments from friends that ended up causing a virus spread in the system, or the one worker who I personally caught looking at porn in his office. As horrible as these things sound, they happen everyday at work. It seems as if people are willing to put their jobs on the line in order to get their computer fix.
Follow this simple tip and you will never go wrong in the office when it comes to computers: only work on work related items during the workday on your work computer. If you are on the clock, or at the office working on the computer, do not use it for personal use. Do not open email attachments on your office computer unless they are work related. If you must get online during the day for personal use, use your wireless device or smartphone. Stay away from downloading any programs on the computer, unless approved by the IT department or management. Lastly, do not let anyone else in the office use your computer. Lock your system when you are away from your desk.
Most IT departments are up on the latest technology. Management has access to all of the websites you are visiting even if you erased the history and cookies. Also, did you know that any emails sent from most company email accounts and received are property of the company? Why make this an issue by misusing the system?
These rules also extend to any laptops and other computer hardware that can be taken out of the office including laptops and netbooks.
Be smart when using the company computer and use it for work purposes only to insure that you do not put your job in jeopardy.
Thanks for the advice! I use my smartphone or Clear Wireless during work instead of surf online.
Managers do look at online usage nowadays to evaluate employees, especially if they have to let some people go. A big problem is when people use streaming video or audio and not realize how much bandwidth they are using – companies usually do not have unlimited bandwidth unlike home internet connections so using the work computer for streaming media is an absolute no-no.
D - Afreshmusic says
Great post! A lot of people don't know or realize this. I was just telling a friend about going to social networking websites on the company computer.
Terri K says
Besides being smart, not using work computers for personal use is a way to protect yourself. I've known people to lose their jobs unexpectedly, have their computer assigned to someone else in an "emergency" situation, then no one ever went back to "clean" the computer so the lady who lost her job had personal documents with personal information on a work computer that was now being accessed by a stranger. Never, ever put any information on a work computer that you would not want posted all over the internet.