Are Your Employees Watching Porn on the Job?

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As an employer, you hope that your employees use their worktime productively. Unfortunately, attention spans are decreasing – one infamous study found that the average human attention span is shorter than a goldfish! An equally troubling survey found that nearly 90% of employees admit to wasting at least some time at work every day. Nearly a third (31%) say they waste about 30 minutes a day, but 10% admit to wasting three hours or more each day! Do some math, and you’ll find that an employee can waste 15 hours a week of productivity, which highlights the costs that can result from an inability to manage time effectively.

Worse than the “how much” time employees can waste is the “how.” Social media use is a common productivity waster, but so is something much less innocuous – watching porn.

Do Your Employees Watch Porn on Company Time?

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You might think that this assertion is crazy. Unfortunately, it has research to support it. Online porn is a huge industry – Pornhub, the world’s largest porn site, had 92 billion viewings in 2016 – which translates to 12 videos for each person on earth. Half of those views were during work hours – between 9am and 6pm.

The United States is the world’s largest consumer of porn, and the majority of US citizens view porn on mobile devices. In the United States, mobile accounts for around 70% of all porn views. Anonymous employees described frequent “bathroom breaks” with their phones to view porn on mobile on company time in a recent expose on the subject in the Financial Times.

Your Media Use Policy

Most businesses have a media use policy in the contract or handbook that prohibits the use of work computers and networks for misuse, such as watching pornography. It is common sense that viewing inappropriate content would be against company policy and be grounds for dismissal. On the other hand, a recent Pew Research Survey found that 77% of employees admit to purposely ignoring their company’s media use policy. In other words, your employees could be watching porn at work, regardless of your explicit employee policies.

Risks of Employee Porn Use

Viewing pornography on the job obviously poses a problem when it comes to lost productivity. It can also come with additional risks, however.

  • It opens you up to a liability suit. If another employee observes a coworker watching porn, it could lay the groundwork for a sexual harassment suit. There is a legal precedent for unsolicited porn viewing being classified as sexual harassment, and, as an employer, you could ultimately be implicated for facilitating a hostile work environment.
  • It makes your company vulnerable to cyber security threats. Pornography websites are not the internet’s most secure portals. If an employee views pornographic content on your network, it could leave you vulnerable to malware and even cause a data breach.
  • You run the risk of losing good employees. Your most valuable employees will likely not want to continue working in a place where they are exposed to unsolicited pornographic content.

What Can You Do About It?

Online pornography viewing in the workplace is more common than you might think. Allowing the practice to continue to can your business vulnerable, both from a legal and cybersecurity standpoint. Fortunately, the right tools can help you eliminate this phenomenon from your workplace altogether. For example, Avelera’s PEAK appliance features give you the ability to monitor employee productivity and activity in the workplace using content-filtering, white and black-listing abilities, app blocking, and more.

Stop inappropriate content viewing in its tracks. With Avelera, you can retake control of your employee productivity and make sure that your business runs efficiently. To learn more about the PEAK service and how we can help your small business operate at its best, contact us.

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About Avelera

A productivity service designed for small business, by small business owners. We customize affordable IT solutions that use privacy and protection to impact overall productivity.

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