After Hours

Members respond to the question of games on the network

In this edition of In Response, TechRepublic members express their opinions regarding the use of games on the company network.

In Response offers a weekly roundup of feedback from TechRepublic members intended to help inform you and your peers about critical issues in the world of IT. This week, we look at the responses from our members regarding gaming on the network.
Are games really that harmful?
In a recent edition of In Response, I asked TechRepublic members to give their opinions regarding gaming on the company network. Once again, we received a large amount of e-mail from our members. Unfortunately, due to the volume we received, it isn’t possible to publish every response. However, I believe I have presented the best balance of all e-mails below. Thank you to everyone who responded!

Members speak their minds

  • Roberto A.
    ”I think you're completely right, playing games over the network can really slow down your network. This could make your support people work extra hard when there's not a problem with the network, but with the people who are just plain irresponsible.
    ”Imagine your users calling the help desk reporting slow response from the network and you, the help desk manager, sending your PC & LAN support people to spend their valuable time trying to figure out what the problem really is.
    ”I think users should be aware of this, as they are really affecting other people who are trying to get their jobs done.”
  • Michael S.
    ”Facts are facts, and the fact is this: No company or business, outside of software developers, hired you to play games. They provided you with a tool, the computer, to allow you to be more efficient on the job.
    ”They did NOT provide this computer for your enjoyment nor as a tool for you to let off steam. This, to me, is comparable to you driving a company car and deciding that you need to let off steam. So, you run down to the local race track and race several other ’steamed-up employees.’
    ”You can and will damage company property, and expect to be held harmless when something bad happens.”
  • G.K. Hughey
    ”I believe there are much worse things that one can do during down periods. Things such as gossip, backstabbing, paper throwing, planning parties for after work, and practical jokes.
    ”I am a network administrator and there are times when there is nothing to do. It's not like we could be dusting or restocking shelves during downtime. I think this is one of those instances when you have to assume the people who work for you are mature enough and responsible enough to work hard when there is something to do and entertain themselves in a constructive fashion when there isn't.
    ”Games on the computer should be ones that can be paused or saved, but I do not think they are harmful in our case.”
  • John C.
    ”Personally, I think off-hours use of the network is perfectly fine. Not only does it let off steam, but you also build team unity and morale. Off-hours your bandwidth is usually minimal to none. Now if there are games played during work hours, then there're more problems than just bandwidth.”
  • Paul P.
    ”We allow gaming after business hours and during lunch. It does release job-related stress when you get to ’pop a cap in yo boss!’
    ”I am in the IT department here and agree with the fact that as long as the game does not interfere with the applications necessary to perform standard business functionality and that it does not corrupt the network in any fashion, then it is perfectly fine. The second a game interferes with regular business or network behavior, it should be wiped clean.”

Ed Engelking is a Web editor for the Support and NetAdmin Republics. In his spare time, he designs Web sites for small businesses and helps operate UCANweb.com, a company that he co-owns.

Are there topics you’d like to see discussed in future editions of In Response? Let us hear about it. Post a comment below or send us an e-mail. In Response offers a weekly roundup of feedback from TechRepublic members intended to help inform you and your peers about critical issues in the world of IT. This week, we look at the responses from our members regarding gaming on the network.
Are games really that harmful?
In a recent edition of In Response, I asked TechRepublic members to give their opinions regarding gaming on the company network. Once again, we received a large amount of e-mail from our members. Unfortunately, due to the volume we received, it isn’t possible to publish every response. However, I believe I have presented the best balance of all e-mails below. Thank you to everyone who responded!

Members speak their minds
  • Roberto A.
    ”I think you're completely right, playing games over the network can really slow down your network. This could make your support people work extra hard when there's not a problem with the network, but with the people who are just plain irresponsible.
    ”Imagine your users calling the help desk reporting slow response from the network and you, the help desk manager, sending your PC & LAN support people to spend their valuable time trying to figure out what the problem really is.
    ”I think users should be aware of this, as they are really affecting other people who are trying to get their jobs done.”
  • Michael S.
    ”Facts are facts, and the fact is this: No company or business, outside of software developers, hired you to play games. They provided you with a tool, the computer, to allow you to be more efficient on the job.
    ”They did NOT provide this computer for your enjoyment nor as a tool for you to let off steam. This, to me, is comparable to you driving a company car and deciding that you need to let off steam. So, you run down to the local race track and race several other ’steamed-up employees.’
    ”You can and will damage company property, and expect to be held harmless when something bad happens.”
  • G.K. Hughey
    ”I believe there are much worse things that one can do during down periods. Things such as gossip, backstabbing, paper throwing, planning parties for after work, and practical jokes.
    ”I am a network administrator and there are times when there is nothing to do. It's not like we could be dusting or restocking shelves during downtime. I think this is one of those instances when you have to assume the people who work for you are mature enough and responsible enough to work hard when there is something to do and entertain themselves in a constructive fashion when there isn't.
    ”Games on the computer should be ones that can be paused or saved, but I do not think they are harmful in our case.”
  • John C.
    ”Personally, I think off-hours use of the network is perfectly fine. Not only does it let off steam, but you also build team unity and morale. Off-hours your bandwidth is usually minimal to none. Now if there are games played during work hours, then there're more problems than just bandwidth.”
  • Paul P.
    ”We allow gaming after business hours and during lunch. It does release job-related stress when you get to ’pop a cap in yo boss!’
    ”I am in the IT department here and agree with the fact that as long as the game does not interfere with the applications necessary to perform standard business functionality and that it does not corrupt the network in any fashion, then it is perfectly fine. The second a game interferes with regular business or network behavior, it should be wiped clean.”

Ed Engelking is a Web editor for the Support and NetAdmin Republics. In his spare time, he designs Web sites for small businesses and helps operate UCANweb.com, a company that he co-owns.

Are there topics you’d like to see discussed in future editions of In Response? Let us hear about it. Post a comment below or send us an e-mail.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox