From large offices to small, home-based work spaces and even outdoor workplaces, the Internet is a ubiquitous part of the modern workplace. While it may serve as a point of distraction when workers use the Internet for personal tasks or employers fail to enforce an Internet usage policy, the positive effects of the Internet in the workplace are too significant to ignore.
Access to Information
One of the primary positive effects of the Internet in the workplace is the amount of information it makes available to workers. From searching online dictionaries for word meanings to referencing facts and statistics, the Internet provides resources for workers to find information and check accuracy. Online calendars and directories provide contact information, event and meeting schedules and other valuable data.
The Internet serves as a communication engine in the workplace, giving supervisors, team leaders and colleagues a fast, efficient means of staying in touch. Email has largely replaced the paper memo in some offices while other workplaces use a combination of video conferencing, online calling, email, instant messaging and social networking to replace telephone calls, postal mail and intra-office mail. Compared to older methods of communication, Internet communication is usually faster and easier to archive for future reference.
The Internet is a training tool for employers who welcome it in the workplace and provide employees with access to online tools. These tools can consist of online lessons for learning new skills, email updates to company policies, tutorials on new equipment or systems and outside training in the form of online college programs or certification courses that function as continuing education for eligible employees. Employers can require new hires to complete online training in the workplace instead of sending them to an outside training program, saving both time and money.
Allowing Internet access in the workplace gives employers and workers more flexibility about where and when workers perform their duties. Online report submission, video conferencing and email allow a worker to participate from home as easily as the office in many cases, effectively expanding the workplace to wherever employees need to be. Access to information online has the same effect, removing the need to physically access printed directories or documents for the information they contain.