May 18, 2021

The Internet @ Work

What is your work ethic like? Do you waste time at work? Are you getting paid right now to read this post on your employers time? How are you handling God’s time? How would you handle your time if you did not have internet access?Internet Globe

Colossians 3:23-24 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of internet access at work. Without internet access I literally could not do my job. On a daily basis I rely on the information and communication that the internet makes possible. Yet one of the big things about the internet is it puts EVERYTHING at our fingertips. This includes both good uses (research, learning, communication, Webstatse-vangelism), and bad uses (porn, emotional adultery, copyright violations, procrastination, idleness). The combinations of these two things have drastically changed the way we do business.

On the good side we can learn things faster than ever before and communicate what we learn around the globe with the click of a mouse. As a result it is possible for a normal person like my wife to have an international ministry through her blog and spread the gospel throughout the world. From a business standpoint our technology is making a company’s physical location almost irrelevant. With VPN’s and VOIP employees are now able to conduct their jobs from just about anywhere. The technology now exists to allow the majority of fathers (and mothers) to work from home. This marks the first time this has been possible since we had a primarily agricultural society.Telecommuter

So, what is holding back these advancements? Accountability. Employers see their employees wasting time on the net, visiting porn sites, showing up to work late, and generally taking part in idle activities. As a result they think, “If I can’t trust him to work here, how can I trust him to work from home? He’ll probably surf the internet all day.”.. and they’re probably right. The average worker goofs off 2.09 hrs per day on the internet.

That works out to be more than a complete day every week and billions of dollars every year wasted to idle hands. The average person is working less than 75% of their 8 hr workday. If they had more integrity they could be adding 25% more productivity to increase their pay, or at a minimum be spending more of their time with their family.

I’d love to think that Christian men were the one’s lowering this statistic. Unfortunately, I do not think this is the case. Sometimes I even wonder as I watch the Christian’s around me if we are the reason that this number is so high. While I certainly do not spend anywhere close to 2 hrs a day engaging in non-business activities online, I have many times caught myself checking my e-mail, or making a quick look at Fatwallet. These activities can quickly add up to 10, 20 or even 30 minutes at a time. While this may not seem like a big deal, I know I would not spend even this much time if Christ, My Employer, was physically at my side.

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10 thoughts on “The Internet @ Work

  1. Very well said Doug, good points and one’s those in the workplace really need to consider. Often times, I fall into this same problem, and I work at home. My employer is YOU and Christ, there is no one over my shoulder making sure I complete my daily work. As a result, I frequently kill time on the internet. I am not a good steward of the time I have, I pray I will become more faithful. Thanks for this reminder, that our employer, no matter our job, is Christ Himself!


  2. Actually at my job we are not on the net, our computers are ancient, in fact, we are going to have to upgrade soon because our medical software has become obsolete.

    So in answer to your question, no I do not play on the internet at work.

    Great post!

  3. Believe it or not, over time our policy at my day job has changed from “for work only” to “occasional surfing that does not interfere with work is acceptable.” I think that you’ve appropriately identified the problem though– just like anything, if you really like doing something you will tend to spend more and more time and you need to control it.

    Just this Sunday our pastor talked about an acronym he has for figuring out if an activity or thing is something that we should pursue if the Bible does not have any direct commands about it. One of the tests is “Could it gain power over me?” The Internet can do that.

    Now, I can’t remove myself totally from the ‘net, since I work in web development, and to some degree I have to be up on technology– and even playing with stylesheets, etc. helps me get better at my job. I’ve been getting more conservative, however, in my posting schedule and the like because I could spend a lot of time writing posts– and I refrain from doing that during the day now.

    It’s a fine line, and I think we need to stay as far away from crossing it as we can.

  4. Those are interesting statistics…I’m all for technology being able to bring fathers and mothers home to work, but in light of the way most parents are bringing up their kids (lazy and wanting instant gratification) I only see this problem getting worse and worse. Here in the mid-west, there’s always been a strong work ethic, but more and more people are talking about how my generation and younger just don’t have the same drive, or on-the-job respect for their boss’s time.

    I easily identify with the lure of the net…just researching something can morph into two hours. Whether you’re on the job for someone else, or a sahm mom/wife, discipline is needful in this area as in many others.

    I appreciate you tackling this subject, and doing such a great job of it. Looking forward to more posts from you…

  5. As long as I’m getting my work done, the internet is fine. It’s useful for me in my career as I try to keep up to date on media stories, and what other colleges and universities are doing in regards to women’s issues. I do check my personal email, but try to get to work a few minutes early to do so! Great post!

  6. Doug,

    Rats! Why is it that when the Lord wants to tell me something He uses multiple communication methods at the same time? Oh yeah… it’s because I DON’T LISTEN VERY WELL!!

    This is a timely reminder and one I have to admit that I need to take to heart. Very well written, and most useful.


  7. Well fortunately I am writing this from home, and the children are tucked up in bed, and my time is my own 🙂

    But thanks for the timely reminder about our stewardship of our time.

    Btw, what is the map of the world supposed to be showing in this article?


  8. Stephen,
    The map is from the google analytics visitor stats from my wife’s website.

    I agree there’s a fine line we must walk in all of this. In most states you are allowed a 15 minute paid break each 4hr shift, a break that many of our office people rarely if ever take. As a result most worldly employers are perfectly okay with quick internet usage like this and from their standards its not an issue. I still wonder if as Christians we are called to an even higher level of accountability. I personally have virtually stopped my non-work-related web-browsing, mainly because I can’t stand it when my co-workers waste company time on the net (They literally are on the net all day long). God used my frustration as a learning tool to show the areas where I am not being faithful. Yes, my co-workers waste a lot more time then I ever have… but this does not justify my sin.

    As my boss has promoted me and slowly been moving me into a supervisory role I have become even more aware of not only my sinful actions, but what could easily be seen as sinful actions. Someone who walks by my desk does not know if I’ve been on Fatwallet for 5 minutes or 5 hrs. As a result the impression of what we do is also important since it affects how we are perceived and our ability to minister. Lest us not be a stumbling block for others…

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