Surfing internet at work

Is it sinful to be online at work (for personal reasons), assuming your employer has no specific policy against such?
My employer has no policy about it. Most people, including the bosses, do this. I’ve many a time walked into my boss’s office to see him online, checking out a restaurant menu or writing something on facebook.
My initial thought is that if there’s no policy against it and managers do it, it’s probably not sinful. It might become sinful if you abused it. I wonder where the line to “abuse” would be crossed? And would this be a venial or mortal sin?
Would mitigating circumstances apply (such as, a person is terribly worried about a problem and searches online for answers, vs. the person who just plays Candy Crush for 8 hours straight because he doesn’t feel like working).
My question refers specifically to the internet, but could apply to many other things (personal phone calls, or co-workers taking extra time to chat at the water cooler).
Any thoughts appreciated.

Over the years, I’ve found that, even if there is no office policy around personal stuff at work, it’s best to keep your mind on your work, and do work-related tasks. If you have no specific task to do, there are always things you can clean, files you can sort, and agendas you can write.

If you seriously have nothing to do, ask a supervisor for more assignments rather than surf the Internet or make personal phone calls.

I would save the personal stuff for break times and home. It’s just far too tempting to get absorbed in non-work stuff, especially when it comes to the Internet, and phone calls, to the point where you are actually spending a lot more time on them than you realize.

(I’m at home right now, in case anyone is wondering.)

You know, I think you are right, and this is a very good policy in general for people to follow.
However.
If a person tries hard to do this and ends up one day spending quite a bit of time online anyway, is it necessary to head for the confessional immediately? Or simply check yourself, be aware of the temptation and resolve to do better tomorrow?

I would say, just as with any bad habit, take it to the Confessional once a week until you have conquered it, but realize that it is an acquired habit that you didn’t acquire on purpose, and probably you had the best of intentions (research, self-improvement, etc.) but it has become a bad habit now, and you need help to conquer it.

Make a written list of things you need or want to accomplish at work, and don’t open your e-mail or your internet browser until you’ve gotten your list done. (Unplug your internet cable, if that’s what it takes.)

If you do need to use the Internet for work, switch it up and do your on-line tasks after 3 pm instead of at the beginning of the day, so that if you do get sidetracked, it won’t impact your employer to the same degree. OR, if your employer sends you your daily tasks by e-mail, set a timer to go off at 10 am to remind you to shut down your e-mail and get to work.

Get into the habit of phoning customers and meeting them in person rather than doing back-and-forth e-mail with them, when that’s possible - you’ll find that you actually save a lot of time, and you get a rapport with the customer where they feel that you care about them more personally.

Use a separate account for your personal e-mail, and direct any personal messages that come to your work account to your personal account without responding to them. When you get home, reply to the e-mail with a message that you want that person to contact you at your “new” e-mail address (personal) rather than your “old” one.

Set things up so that you actually can’t access your personal account from your work station, to the point where the only e-mail you get at work is actually work-related.

Also, don’t use the same computer for work as you do for your personal use, and make sure your work computer has only got your work stuff on it; no personal stuff, and delete any games that came with the work computer.

Your getting paid for doing your job, not updating your Facebook status. :thumbsup: :shrug:

I’d say if you are paid by the hour then don’t waste that time doing personal things. That’s like stealing from the company. But if you have a fixed salary, there is no company policy against it, and the bosses do it too, then it might be permissible to do this in moderation as long as it doesn’t significantly consume company resources.

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