We are in the 21st century. It is a century that has changed the way we work and function . Some of us who have seen the previous era of doing things physically, they would know how different the world has become. Internet is the most important innovation of human creation from my opinion. I would not hesitate to say the Internet has become one of the basic necessities of life, like food, shelter and clothing . It is a necessity for people with progressive philosophy. Internet has changed the way we do things on a daily basis. From paying utility bills to making a business successful, Internet has helped humankind significantly. With the ease of internet, we can now save so much time on doing things. Information is readily available. So decision-making times have reduced significantly. We all have Internet access in some form through an Internet Service provider, either for home, cell phone or work.
Today I wanted to make a few pointers on ‘personal use of internet’ at work. I may not be speaking for everyone reading this, but I will try to touch each corner of the issue. Being a Doctor, I am faced with the challenges of human body on a daily basis. Sometimes it is an easy fix and sometimes not. From the moment I get up, I am constantly occupied by my work. Constant learning and being up to date is a must for me. Given the magnitude of work, people like me hardly have time to sit down and read a professional magazine to improve my knowledge on current topics. Internet becomes very handy at those times. I can browse the information I need when I really need it.
Here is the problem. The offices and hospitals that I work for, block most of the websites including access to email,medical websites, social networking, youtube etc.
Let’s say a patient, Mr. Smith, comes to me with complaints of headaches and we diagnose him with an aneurysm in brain , the next challenge is to know the latest treatment of brain aneurysm as medicine is changing very fast. So I have no way to get access to the latest information which puts Mr. Smith and myself at risk of delayed treatment due to lack of information . You may say that is not a personal use, but my profession is personal to me. Let us say you do not want to buy it.
Personal use includes the email, web browsing, shopping, vacation planning etc.. I agree with the fact that many people indulge in misuse of Internet including pornography which puts a bigger risk of ‘Loss of Productivity’ and system crash at work. I agree that control is a must. I agree that access to social networking ,youtube and similar websites should be limited as they may reduce work efficiency.
We all have doors and windows at home which we lock every night before going to bed and when we go out. Why do we do that? To make sure that bad people do not have access to our privacy and belongings. But do we not open the doors when we have to go out and do the work in the real world. Then, why do we have to lock the access to world-wide web completely and not open it when required. I want you to ask yourself the question today , is it OK to punish all when the culprit are only a few. Can we not develop better mechanisms to track of what people browse over the Internet so as to punish the culprits? I’m sure that people who are honest browsers of Internet would not be scared of any tracking.
So what if I have to plan a vacation when I have some free time . So what if I pay my utility bills while I’m at work. So what if I go buy gifts online for my parents for coming Christmas. It will only boost my morale and reduce stress in my daily life as I know, that ‘I have taken care of things that I need to’. Being unable to use Internet is a stress factor for most of us because we cannot take care of certain things without it. Reducing stress would only reduce the potential to get any disease and improve our work efficiency because we will be satisfied. The few questions I would like you to ask yourself are:
‘Do you not need Internet to progress in life and get more peace of mind”
‘Is it unjustified to take a few moments in day between work to take care of things as long as you are taking care of work in time’
‘Is Internet not a blessing?’
The staff attitude changes by liberalizing some things at work. “It is better to have 80% staff with good attitude rather than having 100% with a bad one.”