September 6, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted a satire on the restrictive and regressive Internet policies of many companies. People who have seen the blockbuster movie Deewar would get it.

Company: Mere pass policy hai, access control hai, site blocking capability hai, tere pass kya hai?
Employee: Mere pass GPRS hai!!

I can't help but laugh when I come across Internet policies of companies which aim at blocking access to mail, social networking sites, and other websites. It doesn't work and in future also will never work. I, like many others of my generation, don't need office Internet to browse web, check mails, or indulge in social networking. My PDA phone is good enough to keep me connected to the world through mail, twitter, facebook, orkut, et al.

Today we are shifting towards an era when mobile phone would be the real convergence device for uniting telephony, Internet, and entertainment. Anybody who thinks of blocking access to Internet in this day and age is living in a fool's paradise.

The bigger issue to focus on is building trust at workplace. Days of restrictive policies to induce desired behavior among employees is over. Today we are faced with a generation which is interested in participative culture based on trust and empowerment. This generation doesn't need to be told when to play and when to work. Generally they are responsible enough if trusted with their capability. But the moment you try to control them through restrictive policies, they may just revolt and try to find a way or two to defy the grand policies in place. With the technology and knowledge available, they in all likelihood would succeed. And if they don't, they will quit and move to another company. Either way the loss is of the company.

Instead of investing time and effort in designing regressive policies, it would be much better if companies used same time and energy in making the workplace more trustful, more participative, and full of positive energy.


  1. Ankit Ashok // September 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM  

    The way most managers (managers, and not leaders - mind you) think of themselves is that THEY have to decide petty things that they think might affect the productivity of their subordinates.

    Only when they can muster the courage to let go, can this behaviour be stopped.