Is it Theft, is it Justifiable, or is it Of No Concern?

Is It Right? Is It Wrong? Oh My! - Is it right or wrong to do personal computer errands at work?
United States
November 21, 2007 11:45am CST
Computers have been a part of daily living for several years now, but I remember the time they were first introduced into offices and everyone was trained in using them. How exciting and cool that was! The on-the-job classes we had to take taught us all the job-specific programs we needed to know but nothing else. They didn't teach us the "secret world" of the internet. They didn't teach us the "secret world" of Solitaire either. Of course, all but upper management computers were fixed so internet access was impossible - but we all very quickly became aware of the games that were on our personal computers and how to back out of them quickly before we got caught playing them on work time. Things are much more sophisticated now. When you are hired into a job you are expected to know how to use a computer and to be internet savvy. Those are job requirements. My question is, Do you think it is alright to use company time to come to MyLot and earn money? Do you think it is alright to use company time to play games? Do you think it is alright to use company time to do personal shopping? What is your reasoning? There is no judgment behind this question, I would just like to know how people feel about this.~Donna
1 person likes this
9 responses
@MsTickle (25065)
• Australia
24 Nov 07
In addition, (lol) to me, this is up there alongside people who are getting government benefits and also working, or those who've had an insurance payout due to injury and are cheating.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Whoops, I guess I had better take off the neck brace; the back stabilizer, and throw the crutches away before you visit me! (I do hope that you and the CIA or the FBI or whatever government agency that lives inside my computer and paranoid mind knows that I am joking!) ~Donna
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25065)
• Australia
28 Nov 07
Ve haff vays of making you tok.
@MsTickle (25065)
• Australia
24 Nov 07
This is something that really irritates and annoys me. I think it's wrong, pure and simple. A company that employs you pays you to work for them not play games and do your own thing. Your time while they are paying you belongs to them. I was acquainted with someone who thought it was ok if her work ws done. She evnen asked her oss if he minded. From the way she described it, he was a bit caught off guard and said it was ok. If you owned a business and your employee was goofing off, would you stand for it?...I know I wouldn't. If it's your own business and you have nothing to do, that's different. If you work for someone else and have lots of free time when you're not required to work and there is genuinely nothing for you to do and your boss says it's ok then that's different too. But I reckon paid work is work.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Well, Ms.Tickle - do you have a strong opinion on this subject? LOL! Thank you for responding and for sharing. I love the fact that we can all be who we are and say what we feel. ~Donna
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25065)
• Australia
28 Nov 07
It is indeed refreshing to say what one thinks without being shouted down and belittled in the process. Sharing my opinions and joining discussions is why I'm here after all. ;)
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
22 Nov 07
I am sure the company would not like it if you do a lot of personal things on the computer on job time.I do not think it stops anyone though.I have lots of friends and family that do all their Christmas shopping online while they are at work.I also get Im's from all my friends while they are suppose to be working.I have two daughters, a daughter in law, a son, and several friends that i talk to all during the day and they are at work.I know this because they are talking to me along with other friends.I don't think it is right because the BB(big Boss) would not like it, but that does not stop them.My son is a boss too, and he says the girls in the office are on myspace a lot of the day,but he said as long as they do their job, he don't worry about it...I know my daughter in law plays games because they are on her computer at work, but she has been there a long time, ans so far no complaints....If they had a heavier work load they would not be able to do that..
• United States
24 Nov 07
I'm so glad you gave you son's point of view. I was hoping that a business owner would speak up and answer this discussion. Thank you for responding ~Donna
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
24 Nov 07
you are welcome.My son has a very large plumbing company here in Houston Tx ,the oldest one around, but he is basically a nice guy with his office girls..He catches them on the computer sometimes,and he ask if they did this or that and they say yes, and he will smile and tell them ok, i was just checking you out..He says to most important thing of all is that they get the work load for that day done..
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
22 Nov 07
A lot depends on what your job is. If you are a receptionist and just answer phones or something like that, and you have time on your hands. I don't see anything wrong with it. If you are supposed to be working on someth8ing and are just playing, then that is wrong. You can always come in earlier or use your lunch time to play on the computer. It also depends on your employers, if they mind or not. Some probably don't mind if you get all your work done.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Nov 07
Thanks you old hag for your comment! I was hoping to see you to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for one more chin under my face and a little more flab under my arms. I am a truly blessed old woman! ~Donna
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@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
22 Nov 07
Us old hags have to stick together, hehe. Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I will be cooking, my mom is coming over. I will also have my son, daughter in law, grandson and maybe a neighbor over. My son is doing the turkey, I said go for it. I will be cooking the rest of the stuff. I wish you a wonderful day. Take care.
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@nangel78 (1458)
• United States
22 Nov 07
I usually do this on my lunch hour. Then I think it is ok since I am off the clock and on my own time then. I think from time to time it is ok. Sometimes work can get draining and we need a break here and there from it to keep going through the day.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Thank you so much for responding and for your comments. You have said much the same as several others but I just realized what I have been wondering about. I am in agreement that stress relievers are needed and when I worked in an office setting it was a very small building that was a branch office for a much larger center. It was very easy for me to ask a co-worker or for one of them to ask me, "Do you want to go out and smoke?" We were in plain view and had to walk past the boss' office to get outside and she always knew where we were going and when we came back. I just wonder if a boss would be as lenient if you were caught playing a game as to think, "Well, that employee is stressed and just needs a little bit of unwind time"?
• United States
22 Nov 07
Well it all depends on what your company does and if u are allowed. if your not. i guess its your choice but for me why would i risk it?....but if i had a job allowing me to do these things.best believe i would be:)... I dont shop online though/ i would be here checking mail on myspace. or...talking on messengers. thats all i really do even when im home.lol
• United States
24 Nov 07
Thank you for your response and your comment. I know what you mean about risking it; personally when I worked in an office setting I would have been terrified even though I had my own office! LOL! ~Donna
@hhhxxccc (222)
• United States
22 Nov 07
I believe that it is important for you to get all your necessary work completed and then i don't see why you can't enjoy some free time activities, instead of just sitting there
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Nov 07
Thank you for your view and your comment. You are appreciated. ~Donna
• Singapore
21 Nov 07
Well, typically speaking, no. If you are working exactly the stipulated hours i.e. not putting in any unpaid overtime on your own initiative, the answer is no. Unless something urgent crops up, it doesn't seem ethical to do your own things during company time. Lunch hour is your own and I feel it is OK to use company resources to do your own things during lunch hour. After all, they can't expect you to run home to use your own computer and be back within the hour. However, if you put in overtime anyway i.e. you work beyond the offical 5/6pm (I know many who do this), then I think you should be free to fix your own schedule. If you stay until 10pm, I don't see anything wrong to spend even the whole morning playing games. This is all about flexibility and it is assumed that you know how to plan your time the best. So a good company with good management will be more than happy to allow you this flexibility - assuming that you do make sure you meet the deadline and provide top quality work. Another exception would be when you are facing a lot of stress and need to take a breather. If you feel playing games or myLotting (for a reasonable amount of time) is useful to help you destress, then it is acceptable too. Just my take.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Nov 07
Thank you for your insight and your reply. I so love looking at your avatar. It brightens my day! ~Donna
@Raymo23 (465)
• Uganda
21 Nov 07
I am not yet at the level of having company time to use for surfing. But the questions can be answered in many ways. It depends on your workload. If you have a lot of work and assignments to do for the company, but decide to log onto the net, then you are wasting company resources. In that case it is not justified. There are people who neglect their work, and decide to go to the internet first thing at their workplaces. It is such people who are wasting company resources. However if you have finished your workload, then there is nothing wrong with that. Utilizing the net for social-networking and shopping in that case should be considered as an allowance from the company.
• United States
21 Nov 07
Thank you very much for your response and for your opinion Raymo. You have a very interesting perspective ~Donna