TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Kansas State University researcher found that most of the time people spend on the Internet at work has nothing to do with their job. It's called cyberloafing and it's happening in offices around the country.
The internet is essential for advertising and marketing firm Jones Huyett Partners.
"Because we do a lot of monitoring and online research, you know we're constantly on the internet working for our clients," said Tracey Stratton, director of public relations.
Employees sign a detailed internet use policy describing what they can and cannot do online. But a new study says just having a policy isn't enough.
"The tough part is enforcing the policy," said Sue Buckley, vice president of sales at Dynamic Computer Solutions. "I would advise companies first of all to definitely have a policy, but secondly you need to know the job descriptions of your employees well enough to know are they producing in the amount that you expect them to."
"Researchers found that 60 to 80 percent of the time employees spend on the internet has nothing to do with work. The study says threatening termination or using detection software can reinforce the policies, but that can also lower worker morale. Buckley suggests a less aggressive approach.
"They need to educate the employee to let them know that this is why we do it," said Buckley. "It's to protect our network, it to keep hackers and people from getting our customer data."
At JHP, education is key, along with some confidence.
"What we really do as a firm is that we trust that our team members are going to act professional and that they are going to exercise good sound judgment and moderation while they're at work," said Stratton.
Researchers recognize that further studies might be done to find other monitoring tactics.