You hired adults, not children
One of the things that I often see in our industry is the culture of access control. Security measures are put into place, because you wish to restrict access to a certain thing. Systems like HRIS need such restrictions, as private information should not be publicly available to the company. However often systems that don’t need security controls put into place end up having them.
Filtering internet is a controversial topic in most work places. By actively monitoring your employees activities on the internet, they will feel a sense of distrust. If you trust this person to write code for your production website, you can probably trust them to surf at will. I’m not Advocating that you don’t log the activity. However you shouldn’t actively block websites, or read the logs. Activity Logs should only be used when legal problems arise, and not something you hang over your employee’s heads.
Ownership and Directed Management
Let employees have ownership of their work. Let them understand that with the freedom to own things, comes the responsibility to that thing. Employees whom decide to use non-standard technologies, should have to own that thing entirely. Stopping them from using it can be a barrier to productivity, especially if that particular technology is best for their project.
Asking someone to do something without context is demoralizing. Let employees know why you are asking them to do something. This establishes your motives, and gives that person a sense as to how they fit in the organization. If someone asks you to do something, and you are busy let them know why you can’t fulfill their request at that moment.
Access Control: Barrier of productivity
One of the huge problems in most companies are barriers to productivity. These can be caused by processes, but also access control. Most systems do not need have access control set around them. If you trust your employees, and colleagues to be adults, you should not have to lock them out of xyz system as long at that system does not store sensitive data. No one manager or even team should have to approve specific patches. Anyone who feels they have authority to approve something, should be able to do so. People fully understand the authority delegated to them. Waiting for specific people can be ultimately a huge barrier to success.
There is nothing wrong with being a manager, but try to delegate responsibility to you’re subordinates. Give them the trust and respect that they deserve. Employees whom are empowered are more antonymous and are ultimately more productive than their oppressed counterparts.