What is an Effective Electronic Use Policy?

By hrlineup | 09.01.2020

The internet is a must access tool in the workplace today. In as much as it can elevate communication and help with gathering information, it can also be a major distraction. Entertainment blogs, gossip websites and even a plethora of social media sites can keep a worker engaged for hours. The result is one spending time online, but not actually getting any work done. To curb this challenge, companies can introduce an effective electronic use policy.

Ensuring Employees are On Board

To ensure success of an employee computer use policy, it is important that they are informed of the conditions of the policy. An effective policy will include several main components. The first is a clear introduction that explains the reason for the policy. The electronic use policy violations should also be clearly outlined so that one knows what happens if they go against this policy.

The second component is clear definition of the terms that are used within the policy. There are some that are not in layman terms and explaining these ensures that all employees understand the document.

The next component defines the scope of electronic resources, and where the company computer use policy applies. Furthermore, it also clarifies where the policy does not apply, to ensure there is no confusion.

The main part of getting employees on board is the guidelines that are within the policy. It is here that rich information regrading definitions for personal use are stated, as well as what is private is defined. Safeguarding measures are also included, as are the ways that employees will be monitored. Finally, details on audits will be included.

Clarifying Electronic Use Policy Violations

In reviewing and effective electronic use policy, one may focus specifically on the internet, and what inappropriate information can be accessed. However, it is necessary to consider all electronic equipment that may be used for communication. This includes reviewing how people communicate on telephones, as well as on fax machines. These media allow for speaking or sharing visuals of inappropriate content. Employees need to understand that when using any electronic equipment that is the property of the employer, they do not have any privacy. This will help limit the chances of harassment within the workplace as well.

Having a corporate computer use policy is not just about restricting staff so that they can be more productive. It is also essential in saving the company from embarrassment as well as protecting the company from any liability. Inadvertently, employees may access or share content in seconds. Without a policy in place, this make sit challenging to control.

The computer use policy for the workplace should explain how the employer will collect information as and when they need it. An audit with a forensic computer examiner at specific intervals is the ideal way to do so. As a company, one may set up a series of blockers to control the content that is accessed, but employees are equally adept at circumventing those blockers. A forensic computer examiner can find essential evidence of activity, even when one has tried to hide their tracks.