The purpose of an Internet and E-mail Policy is to ensure there is consistency in the application of the internet and e-mail within an organisation. These systems have been long established as crucial communications facilities, providing the ability to contact professional and academic sources worldwide. Therefore, a policy is required that provides for the optimum use of these facilities, while ensuring legislative compliance is met at all times.
Employees should be encouraged to use the internet as part of their professional duties. However, they must ensure that the information published is relevant to their usual business activities prior to releasing it under the company name. When expressing personal views, a disclaimer must be clearly added to the correspondence. Neither intellectual property rights nor copyright must be brought into disrepute when adding a publication to the internet. The access and/or distribution via the internet of any kind of offensive material, or material that is not work-related, will open an individual up to disciplinary action, which in turn could lead to dismissal.
The accessing of social networks, personal email, online gaming, etc, is forbidden during office hours and the business network should be secured to prevent such access. A workstation can been made available during lunch hour should the business decide to allow staff access to Facebook, Online Banking, online gaming, or any other personal requirements. Employees that fail to comply will face disciplinary proceedings, which could result in dismissal.
The use of the e-mail system must be encouraged as its proper use promotes efficiency and can provide employees with much assistance. Its inappropriate use, however, can cause problems such as time wasting and potentially even legal claims.
While this should be customised for your own purposes, it’s often useful to work from a template. If you’d like a head start in designing your policy, please click on the link to download a template.