Web Browsing Etiquette at the Workplace Everyone Needs to Follow

Web Browsing Etiquette at Workplace
There are a set of etiquette every employee must follow, be it attire, behavior, or even web browsing. If you are in a job that requires you to use the computer for long hours, your mind may wander and you probably might check out personal sites or surf the web on topics that do not pertain to your job. This post explains the concept of Internet etiquette and why it should be followed.
"Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential."
― Will Cuppy
At work, the Internet provided to employees has an amazing speed, but this privilege is only to make our work easier; not for our personal use. Many people tend to abuse the liberty of using free Internet by using it for personal browsing, sending emails, chatting, Facebook, or Twitter, etc. Even if you are a diligent worker who is always on target or performs well in the company, browsing the Internet for information that is not related to your profession is not very good. It does hamper your productivity in some way or the other. To avoid falling into trouble, employees should follow a code of conduct, especially where browsing the Internet is concerned.

When we are at work, we are so careful about how we dress, talk to our peers, eat, or even with our written communication, but when it comes to our Internet usage, we are not very careful. Employers keep a check on the Internet browsing done by their employees and link it with the employee's productivity. The activities that go completely against web etiquette are as follows.
Social Networking Sites
Facebook Main Webpage
Facebook and LinkedIn are two of the most popular social networking sites that are used. These sites connect people to each other and are thus, very addictive. While at work, one should abstain from using such sites, as it is not very professional to do so. If, by chance, you are logged on to any social networking site and your boss or your superior walks by and sees you surfing through someone's profile or reading your friends' tweets, it leaves a bad impression on him about you.

Out of the 8 or 9 hours of the required work time, a person using these social networking sites ends up spending at least an hour browsing them. The same one hour could have been spent doing something productive. If you have befriended your boss and superiors on Facebook, or if they follow you on Twitter, you tend to fall into a dicey situation if you have regular posts during your office hours. Therefore, regular checking-in and using social networking sites should not be done, as it is neither productive nor does it contribute to your company's well-being.
Games and Downloads
Downloading on phone
Most companies ban and block gaming sites. They do this as a precautionary measure to avoid employees from wasting and whiling away their time playing. Many find this very unfair, but just take a minute and put yourself in your employer's position. Would you like it if your employees are playing games and fooling around during office hours? You would not excuse it at all, because not only is it distracting other employees but also disrupting the office decorum.

Downloading movies, songs, games, apps, etc., is a complete no-no. Not only do most companies ban sites that enable such downloads, but those who do not have Internet restrictions discourage their employees from logging on to such sites. Browsing through such sites without the intention of downloading anything is also looked down upon.
Online Shopping and Paying Bills
Digital Online Shopping

The Internet caters to mostly all our needs, like shopping, paying bills, buying and selling stock, etc. Even though these are important tasks, they should be done out of office hours. Let's take, for example, online shopping portals. You know exactly what you want to buy, but when you log in, you see something else at a better price. From there on, you start browsing, and before you know it, you have spent a good 2 or 3 hours not doing anything productive.

Think of yourself as a boss or superior. Would you like it if your employees are shopping or taking care of other tasks during the time they are supposed to be generating money for the company? You would never allow it, would you? So, the next time you plan to shop, pay your bills, or even look up some stock rates, think twice and refrain from doing so.
Sending Personal Emails
Man Holding Tablet Computer
There is a not-so-thin line between professional and personal life, and one must maintain that. If your family does not like the idea of you taking work back home, neither does your boss like it if you do personal work during office hours.

Think about it this way - if you and your boss are having a discussion and he is busy typing out a personal email on his phone or computer, would you like it? You would be absolutely appalled by his behavior. Right? So, refrain from drafting personal emails from the workplace. Bringing the baggage of your personal life to the workplace is only going to leave you distracted and not let you concentrate on your work.
Some Do-not-dos
Given below is a list of few more things that you should not venture into while browsing the Internet at work.

▶ Pornographic sites
▶ Funny videos
▶ Chatting on instant messenger services
▶ Reading e-books and jokes
▶ Applying or looking for new job openings
▶ Looking up good restaurants, movie lists, etc.
Instead, What You Can Do
Here are some things that you can do if you find yourself free of work for a while:

▶ Read up some online study material, which will help you in your line of work.
▶ Look up sites that benefit you in your field of work.
▶ If you have stumbled on a site that relates to celebrity gossip or other personal information which is not related to your profession, inform the person in charge of IT and explain the mistake.
▶ Assist someone who needs help in finishing a task.
Browsing etiquette while at work should be followed, as violation of it could cost you your job. If ever in doubt, always put yourself in the place of your employer and judge the situation.