It seems that a common topic in the news today is surfing the internet while at work. I am just thinking out loud how this might affect a lawyer's career and productivity.
First of all, many employers do not seem to mind their employees checking out a few web pages during down time, keeping up with the news, etc. In fact, I would bet that in many occupations, monitoring developments via the internet can be crucial to doing a good job. I suppose the question would be whether this applies to lawyers. Surely, keeping an eye on the legal field is important, so it would seem that monitoring developments through the internet would be acceptable to the firm.
However, as one article puts it, "Clearly, when surfing gets in the way of one’s duties and this can be well-documented, that’s another matter." This would seem to point to the people who surf the web in derogation of their job, not in support of it.
The question still remains, however, what effect casual, non-job-related surfing might have for lawyers. On this note, I would argue that it does cut into productivity. However, on the flip-side, it could be said that it provides a needed mental break from the tedious job at hand.
In the end, I think the moral of the story is to achieve a good balance. Just like it should be acceptable to take a break and walk down the hall for a cup of coffee, chatting with a colleague or two on the way, it should be OK to check out the latest Dilbert occasionally. As Aristotle would argue, moderation is the key.
[tags]legal andrew, law firm[/tags]
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