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18 September 2007

Office Ethics II - Company Resources

I will try in this post to focus on company resources that people sometimes use for non-business activities.

As you know, most of us have telephones on our desks, but the point is that many people use these phones to call their friends or relatives. It's a bit easier for me as we have mobile allowance in my company. And I haven't paid any penny for my mobile calls for the last four years or so. So I normally use my mobile phone even for business and international calls as it is easier. But I believe that if there weren't that mobile allowance, I am still not supposed to use the company phone for non-business calls.

I also don't think that I am supposed to use to use the printers there in order to print private documents and stuff. The same for the photo copiers and ... ehm scanner. Look, I am not sure about the scanner, as I consider it a permanent resource, ie. it doesn't have a significant running cost.

One more thing, the Office Boys and Messengers. Is it ok to send them out to buy you some stuff or get you some papers from somewhere? As for me, we have a policy that we can send them to do such personal stuff, as long as they have nothing to do. And such orders will take the lowest priority if they have other stuff to do. But I believe that if there isn't such policy in a certain company, then people are not supposed to send them.

Finally, I think companies shall try to define a certain policy for such issues. As they may allow their employees to use the available resources there within certain limits. But as long as there isn't such policy, people are not suppose to use the resources there without permission.

You can read the previous post, Office Ethics I - Internet, here.

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  1. here they made it easier for us and themselves...outgoing phone calls don't last more than 3 minutes...and we have to say whom are we calling!! so it's limited here...

    as for the messengers and office boys...i can't remember any of us used them to go get some personal stuff from outside the uni...usually it's always work-related and within the the cafeteria has this office-delivery service...

    other resources such as the printer and stuff...sometimes we use them for personal stuff but nobody complains for we finish our tasks on time...

    i think this is the best policy because although we have the freedom to do's rarely seen here!

    there are although some companies with freak rules..
    for example:a friend works in a company where you're not allowed to use your mobile or non-business-related!! no mobiles what so ever should be in sight!!

    by the way this company has very weird rules..i'll save them till you cover the points in part III

  2. I think a lot of this debate centers around the question "what behaviour would you consider professional?"

    Personally, I feel uneasy using any company hardware, resources, staff or time for anything not related directly to my job.

    I know a lot of people look at their employment contract, and try to validate their behviour by arguing that things are not covered in writing - but in doing so they fool nobody.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to do so - just that it's not very professional.

    Great blog btw - found my way here through Blogrush.