As more and more employees gain Internet access from their desktops, surfing the Web on the job is becoming a serious issue for both workers and supervisors alike. To what extent should employees be allowed to surf the web on company time? It’s a charged issue that’s a little more complicated recently with the increasing popularity of Don’s Boss Page, a Web site that’s devoted to helping employees fool their bosses into thinking they’re hard at work — when they’re actually cruising the Web.
At first glance, Don’s Boss Page appears to be nothing more than a spreadsheet, complete with number columns and bar graphs. In fact, it’s a model of the infamous TPS Report, as seen in the film “Office Space.” The interactive form, designed in flash by Nate Craddock, allows you to click on any of the buttons at the top of the spreadsheet to bring up realistic looking windows.
Scroll down the page, however, and a wealth of features are revealed — from tips and tricks for at work “stealth surfing” to downloadable panic buttons that users can place on their own Web sites. There’s also pre-recorded typing sound effects to help workers sound busy while sleeping in their cubicles, and a directory of worker friendly sites. In addition, a floating “Personal Protector” window allows users to surf the far corners of the Web while keeping Don’s Boss Page, and job security, a short click away.
Don believes that while excessive surfing certainly impedes workplace productivity, companies should consider adopting the attitude that web surfing is like coffee breaks and water cooler conversations. These necessary diversions, in moderation, allow workers to relax, regroup, and ultimately become more productive. “Besides,” he says “an employee who surfs the Web is an Internet-literate employee, and as the world’s commerce begins to move online, this is a set of skills that companies should nurture rather than discourage in their workforces.”
Originally hosted on Don’s college Web pages, the site became so popular with at work surfers worldwide that when Don graduated it became obvious that he needed to move the site to a dedicated server. “I get e-mail from workers on every continent who thank me over and over for providing such a service. It’s obvious that there really is a crisis going on in our workplaces over on-the-job surfing, and the ever growing popularity of Don’s Boss Page illustrates this quite clearly.” explains Don.