Pornography in the Workplace = Productivity Loss

Monday, April 7, 2014, 3:26 PM


Have you ever walked into a co-worker’s office to discuss something and, as you approach, you catch a glimpse at the computer screen and see that he is viewing pornography?  Upon realizing this, your colleague will probably try to cover it up…but it’s too late. 

Unfortunately, events like this are more commonplace; employees are using work time to view illicit material. In 2013, two-thirds of United Kingdom companies caught employees viewing illicit material; by comparison, in 2008 only about one-third of companies had this issue.

Today, most companies have this challenge. About half of Fortune 500 companies have had at least once incident per year related to workers accessing illicit materials and 99% of company networks contained some sort of pornographic material.

Many times, co-workers will turn a blind eye to this behavior, thinking that as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s okay. However, the consequences of an employee viewing pornographic material in the workplace are not limited to that specific worker.

The average time spent visiting pornographic websites on company computers is about 13 minutes per day. This means that a quarter of an hour is not being used for work by all employees, on the average. Very quickly, those minutes spent on viewing illicit material turn into hours of lost time. This leads to a huge decrease of production in the workplace, a loss of thousands of dollars, and lost assets.

More importantly, companies that have problems with workers viewing illicit material see higher employee turnover rates, lower morale, and more sexual harassment cases. Your brand image and reputation can also take a hit when it is disclosed that workers use work time to view pornographic material.

What can be done to prevent this behavior and help workers become more productive? 

It is important for companies to establish guidelines and policy.  Setting guidelines about the definition of proper computer usage, monitoring workers’ computer usage, and incorporating website filters are just some of the ways an organization can prevent the productivity loss associated with the access of pornographic material.

ContentWatch provides Internet filters for organizations of all sizes.  These tools can monitor computer usage and block illicit web material, saving time and money.

To learn more, click here.