After Hours

The top 10 apps being blacklisted in the enterprise

Whether they're regarded as productivity killers or security risks, many apps have made it onto company blacklists.

Thanks to the invasion of personal apps, services, and hardware in enterprise, it shouldn't surprise anyone that smart IT pros out to protect data are conducting a wholesale blacklisting of the apps they find most threatening to data security.

Zenprise, a mobile device management company that specializes in BYOD, recently released its Zenprise MDM Cloud Report. The report includes the top 10 apps that enterprises are blacklisting (or attempting to blacklist) in the United States and globally. The list is theirs. The snide commentary, mine. So here they are. The 10 most blacklisted apps this month, in descending order.

Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.

1: Angry Birds

Would someone please muster up the courage to tell the CEO to stop with the slingshot already?

2: Facebook

Imagine an update like, "I am sitting here listening to our blowhard manager give a talk that could fell a tree."

3: Google Play

Buying apps on company time? And potentially with company money? Hard stop.

4: Dropbox

Worst case: Employee walks off with your company data and Dropbox is installed on four of her computers. Nuff said.

5: Skype

Now this is what you want. Folks texting and calling relatives all over the world. It puts a whole new spin on the idea of personal calls at work, doesn't it?

6: YouTube

Imagine a Google+ Live Hangout saved and shared on YouTube. It's a recording of your confidential board meeting. Yikes!

7: The App Store

Just ... too easy to get a game even more addictive than Angry Birds. If such a thing exists, it is in the App Store.

8: Evernote

Social, shareable note-taking screams take our secure company information and share it with the world the next time you get angry at your boss. Or quit.

9: Cydia

An Apple iOS app that lets your users browse and download applications for a jailbroken Apple iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Lovely.

10: Twitter

Sure, users, tweet all day. Gain more followers. Lose work time.

Your list

What apps have you blacklisted? How about whitelisted apps? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.

About

Gina Smith is a NYT best-selling author of iWOZ, the biography of Steve Wozniak. She is a vet tech journalist and chief of the geek tech site, aNewDomain.net.

74 comments
BFilmFan
BFilmFan

When your organization has an active social media program, you can drop The App Store, GooglePlay, EverNote, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype right out of that list. If you are actively encourging employees to adopt smart devices to be more productive, you can drop Cydia and DropBox. Other than Angry Brids, all of these applicaitons have very legitimate uses in an enterprise, if properly controlled with policies. In accordance with TimeWarner's corporate social media policy, these are my opinions and should not be taken as the official view of the organization.

cynthia.mackinnon
cynthia.mackinnon

We USE Facebook and Twitter to get seamless instant feedback on everything we do here, and it helps guide us. And our business is saving peoples live's by preventing Workplace Injuries. Use common sense here. Depends on the business what they allow access to, and stop hiring slackers.

dstaehr
dstaehr

If this is for BYOD then some policy needs to be set up. If this is for company owned devices, the company should be able to lock down the device as they choose. If the company is worried about data "leakage" then flash drives, cloud services, smart phone USB tethering and any other way to access their company information network need to be included in the "lockdown" mix.

Grika
Grika

At Dell, employees are encouraged to be active in social networking sites, so that if someone has an issue with a Dell product, the employee can help get that person the support he or she needs. Dell offers internal training on effective use of social networking and subsequently allows employees greater freedom to post (tweet, blog, whatever) on Dell's behalf depending on how much training the employee has completed. Watch for the hash tag I've included to spot someone that's gone through Dell social networking training. At the same time, however, gmail and google docs (and other web-based productivity sites) are blocked on the Dell network. #Iwork4Dell

BWebLive
BWebLive

As an experienced business consultant, this type of time wasting phenomena existed before the computer era and it its an inherent trait in company culture. Any specific job in a company contributes in part to the whole success of a company. Every job has key elements that must be fulfilled that together enables the company to be successful Its all locked down in an employment contract and a performance measurement system. So don't ban anything Allow all. The clauses dealing with these issues must be clearly stated in the employment contract and policy and procedure system and the performance system will measure if the key elements of the job has been fulfilled. If yes, fine. The incumbent is doing the job as stated and to the expected standard. Let them play If not, investigate. Start the procedure as stipulated in the contract and policy and procedure system to correct the situation. Add a clause to the contract stating that 'play' is allowed, not controlled etc. because the company treats all as responsible adults for doing their jobs. But if its a problem, strong action will be taken. Example: Use of company phones for personal calls. I was contacted by several companies about this problem nothing formal works to stop it, so don't. Amend P&P and contracts that states that all individuals can use the company phone system if required but are responsible for their own phone calls. Set a cap. State that phone usage will be audited randomly at least 4 times a year. Send each employee his phone stats. Wait. Deal with overuse when employees come to management about their overuse voluntary. Audit well once. Take action. Phone costs dive to below acceptable levels for a while then stabilizes around the acceptable costs. I had the same problems to solve for usage of bandwidth, stationary, toilet rolls! Yes!, tea and coffee and many more. Each needs a different approach but all were solved by NOT restricting and NOT controlling by the company. I am sure that some of you reading this will by now have also realized the enormous savings on management time and aggravation on these issues with this method. In short, make the incumbent responsible for his own actions and hit them hard with the consequences of their actions. (This does NOT mean ?firing? (I never use this word BTW). There are far better solutions that reinforces the company's attitude of 'take responsibility', 'face the consequences') Ta-da, magic exits and I have graduated to Marlin status. :-)

rudra.ghosh
rudra.ghosh

I don't understand why skype is in this list ? I am working as a System Administrator in India for a company which has only $1 billion turnover per year and we have offices in all over India and also in overseas. We used to call each other through Skype and guess what ? It's absolutely free as we don't afford to pay huge STD/ ISD bills for the same. It's realy shit to know that "Folks texting and calling relatives all over the world. It puts a whole new spin on the idea of personal calls at work, doesn???t it?". Then there is no meaning to have IT personnel & IT Security policy in place. So How come "Zenprise" has the authority to ban a App which are helping to grow a SME. Zenprise opened its doors in 2003 and now it's 2012. So are they think that they are the kingpin to decide who can use what ? if so then it's simply bullshitt !!!!!!!!!!!!!

amrando
amrando

For all you folks griping about restrictions on BYOD- that's what MOBILE DEVICE MANAGEMENT solutions are for. Maybe TR needs an article on the platforms out there that provide this to refresh your knowledge. Most if not all of these have the ability to differentiate between corporate and personal devices, and segregate apps and data accordingly, as well as provide selective security.

krsmav
krsmav

Sorry. The Slashdot link is at [aitch-tee-tee-pee-colon-double-slash] idle.slashdot.org/story/12/05/21/1721245/allowing-the-mind-to-wander-aids-creative-problem-solving.

krsmav
krsmav

If you disable DropBox but don't disable USB ports, you're not doing much. A thumb drive, or even a hard drive, can fit in a pocket and hold your data just as easily. While you're at it, you'd better disable CD/DVD writers, FireWire ports, serial ports, eSATA ports, etc., etc. And weld the case shut so nobody can plug a drive into an internal SATA connection. And disable email attachments. Even a moderately sophisticated employee can easily find a way around your barriers. Also, see yesterday's Slashdot link, .

BeaufordT
BeaufordT

Our MIS installs it on all our PC's. They wont allow large attachments to email so this is how we exchange projects with consultants. Is there a better way?

Leafgreen
Leafgreen

I'm a business owner of a tech company. If you were a manager making such rules, I'd fire you on the spot. Reason: You are a control freak. Further explanation: See comments by mwalters1984 and kraabeasa.

Htalk
Htalk

...which begs the question, do you want to be regarded as a jailer or a technology enabler?

RealInIT
RealInIT

Military contractors and their employees get work done without the distraction of a "smart" phone all the time. Besides, allowing them and not holding people who misuse them responsible is just asking for a lawsuit! The solution is create reasonable guidelines and then drop the hammer on the 1% who feel guidelines are not for them. There are laws already on the books to deal with employees who misuse/steal data from the workplace. Fire them and put them in jail, and make known the reason is a much better punishment than restricting apps or devices. But, as a society we refuse to hold people responsible for their actions, as witnessed by all the cyber bullying going on in the school system! Spare the rod, spoil the child...

Hundel Wald
Hundel Wald

On try-out day for the track team, a guy grabs his little brother, throws him over his shoulder and still makes the team! Guy says it doesn't help him run, but it's good for his morale. Besides, the competitions not up to par this year and he's as good as the rest of the guys even with the handicap. Now I'm not saying we ban kid brothers from hanging around after we're done racing. But don't you think the coach might want to ask how much better the guy could do without his brother on his shoulder?!?

chrisl317
chrisl317

In a BYOD company I might find some of the apps useful, personally or professionally. Unless, the company paid for it, what goes on my device and how it's used, is my business.

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

Limiting stuff many people have on their phones.

nedfraser
nedfraser

Funny, a lot of those are what makes me more productive! And Angry Birds is a nice palette cleanser, for those short breaks. Healthy, happy, productive employees. It's not the app, it's how you use it.

Robynsveil
Robynsveil

Productivity isn't about banning, it's about setting goals and sticking with them. If an employee has specific objectives to be met ... and meets them, who cares what else occurs during that employee's day? It's an old-manager-mindset: Ebenezer exacting specific hours of 'work', instead of looking at tasks as entities. The punch-clock mentality. So, you'll see people who *never* get on FB or check for messages on their phone or anything else and do the rock-bottom absolute minimum, but because they are "working", the boss is happy. Needs a re-think, don't you reckon? Define your tasks and objectives first. The rest: who cares. Your objectives are met... does that other stuff even enter into the equation?

vaughndumas
vaughndumas

So what's next? Ban people from discussing sports at the water cooler or when getting coffee? People are social animals and the Internet is just another way of communicating.

crbala
crbala

I read the article with interest. The point of contention is what should be banned and the responses seem to suggest how such a ban will work. Changing the frame of reference will provide a solution. Instead of banning, categorize your apps and websites into "work" and "personal", based on individual's function. Please see solutions such as Prohance - www.prohance.net. These can be deployed without banning any apps or sites. It just tracks how much time was spent on work and how much on personal without intruding on privacy.

Suresh Mukhi
Suresh Mukhi

The title says "apps" but 7 put of the 10 are websites. I know some of these websites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are available as apps but they are natively still websites.

grayson.stedman.jr
grayson.stedman.jr

I agree with most of the apps listed here but have to say that the small business I work for was able to slash our international calling charges drastically by switching all of our international callers to Skype. We deployed Skype business edition with Skype Manager so that we can apply credit from a single interface and control who gets how much credit. We can generate reports of what calls are made and when credit is applied. The amount of credit we purchase for our entire group of users is 60% less than what we were paying to our telephone service provider over a 3 month period.

kallingham
kallingham

Pretty comprehensive list. I don't see LinkedIn, Google and Email on the list. Certainly these conceivably could be time-wasters too. So can taking more than 30 minutes for lunch, and taking more than 3 minutes in the lavatory, for that matter... On the glass half-full side, many of these tools actually promote productivity. However productivity is not the top priority in some archaic, paranoid and poisoned work environments.

Ptorq
Ptorq

My boss literally REQUIRES that I be logged in to Skype at work. My wife's employers require her to use DropBox (for something, I've never been entirely clear on what). I used to have to use the similar-in-concept Box.Net (before we got tired of them changing the API without telling us and then simultaneously denying that they'd done so and saying "and it's backward compatible anyway"). The point is that at least some of these can be useful tools for doing work, not just wastes of company time and resources. Blocking TechRepublic (while it's technically not an "app") is at least as justifiable as blocking most of these. (Sorry, but it's true. Most of the stuff I read here is not directly useful to my job, it's just interesting to me personally.)

andymedders
andymedders

This is a BYOD article, right. So the implication is that I am supplying my own smartphone to basically check my corporate email on the go. If I can't use services like Evernote, which gets me through a work and personal day, then I might as well buy 2 phones (1 for work and 1 for personal use) or not participate in the BYOD program. If you prefer that users not use social networks during work hours then create a User Agreement Policy and try to enforce it through training or even remedial action if necessary.

mwalters1984
mwalters1984

...if you can't trust the employee to get their job done, why'd you hire them in the first place? If things have changed, get rid of them. I get the dropbox thing, and I get blocking the usual suspects: "Weapons, porn, hate speech". But I never understood the netnanny against youtube (unless you have a small pipe), and the like. If you employees aren't doing their job because you've "allowed" access to certain things, get rid of them. Generally all you end up doing is creating roadblocks that keep other people from getting their job done. Perpetuates the "us against them" mentality in the organization. Just my opinion. I don't know how many times I've come across a youtube video that I'd like to watch, related to the project I'm working on, but can't because we've blocked youtube because teachers can't watch their children.

rwbyshe
rwbyshe

If it's not "business related" it's NOT ALLOWED SOFTWARE!!! (Within reason but that's the base rule). It is now soooooo ridiculous in companies that the workers seem to expect that they have the "right" to be "entertained" during their workday! What the hell ever happened to working for a living??? If you don't like my corporate rules, then get off your dead butt and go work for Toys Are Us or the like if entertainment is your expectation! I pay for productivity and I expect an 8 hour period of labor from each employee. Even if I'm real lenient and allow you to squander 10% of my expected work day than I've lost 48 minutes a day to your chatting on skype, etc. In terms of $$$$ and/or productivity, then I've lost 10% of both. I DO NOT think that it is even close to fair for the employer to be expected to give up 10% of his/her expected gain per employee just to provide them some sort of entertainment on the company computer assigned to them. I used 10% as an arbitrary # but it seems close to accurate to me. Agreeably, there has to be exceptions to the rule that is certain. But what happened over time is the things folks were doing during their lunch hours, ended up carrying over into their break times, and their work times also... and now HAS BECOME AN EXPECTATION on their parts. It all boils down to this: Work Time is work time, and Personal Time is personal time. During the assigned work times, work!!! I don't care what you do during your personal times just keep it withing the allocated time period. I'd personally even recommend that the IT Dept. monitor email in the context of amount and type of emails sent from individual employees. This would cut down in the number of jokes and junk mail sent per day. One last recommendation: Get of you butt and walk down the hall and talk to the other engineer, etc. and quit using email, and only use the phone if absolutely necessary!!! Well that's my humble opinion. Let's see what kind of flac I draw from this post!!! lol

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Zenprise is reporting what other companies are doing. They are not telling you or anyone else what you cannot use.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

many corporate and government IT shops take exactly the steps you mentioned, and more. Cases are sealed to prevent the removal of hard drives, BIOS passwords are configured to prevent unauthorized booting, desktop systems may be secured in place. I get the idea you think you're carrying the concept to extremes, but you haven't even scratched the surface.

ed
ed

Finally--somebody who gets it. There are some jobs for which Internet access or use of a computer isn't even a possibility, like assembly line. There are others where it is critical, like engineering and programming. If the person is getting a day's worth of work done in an day, that's the relevant concern. If she/he takes a total of 30 minutes (or some period of time) in a day checking personal email, watching a YouTube of his grandchildren, or looking at plane reservations for the next vacation, AND DOESN'T DISTURB THE OTHERS AROUND HER/HIM, but gets the company where it needs to go, that's what is important. Think about the tradition of smoke breaks for non-hourly employees. They're not needed as much now, but in days gone by it was a serious amount of time and it was expected a smoker would stop all work and deal with the need. Was the time monitored and the person expected to make it up? Did the non-smokers get to leave earlier? Not anywhere I--a non-smoker--have ever worked. The emphasis on the "minutes of work" is non-productive. A manager who is concentrating on that is wasting company time. Measuring minutes looks like work and it's something that can be counted, added, subtracted, and reported. Must be important--NOT! Concentrate on who is getting the job done and work on enabling the people who are.

ITassasin
ITassasin

I'm pretty sure you get the gist of the article, regardless of whether they are apps or websites. Be honest.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Next thing we know the Governor's office set up a streaming media server and started doing Real audio broadcasts. One person's banned app is another's critical business platform! :)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Although the source quoted is a BYOD specialist, I'm guessing the list of banned apps applies to company-provided systems. On the other hand, the company is holding the keys to access. I can see mandating the removal of some of the ones on this list that could compromise security. However, Upset Avians isn't on that list.

RealAusTech
RealAusTech

"I don't know how many times I've come across a youtube video that I'd like to watch, related to the project I'm working on, but can't because we've blocked youtube because teachers can't watch their children." As a computer and network tech, I come across this sort of thing from time to time. There are lots of good videos on youtube that are useful to me, particularly when I come up against problems that I haven't had to deal with in the past 2 or 3 years (I'm a Baby Boomer approaching retirement age). In the workplace I find that there are many workers who spend what I regard as excessive time, looking at social media, youtube videos, etc when they should be productively working. It is easier for the personel involved to block access completely, than have to set up separate rules for the users that will responsibly use these resources, which should also be monitored. I don't necessarily agree that this is the best way to do things, but it most definitely the easiest way.

BitHammer
BitHammer

usually results in a friendly chat that could last 15 minutes to half an hour! Much better in that case to shoot off a quick email! The point: It's really easy to wast time if you want to. I use the internet to keep up on work related matters. And yeah, I might wast a few minutes here or there (Such as writing this response), but overall I'm here to improve the ability to do my job. This is at least part of what I'm paid to do: Be a better engineer. If you have time wasters, don't get rid of access, get rid of time wasters!

dmm99
dmm99

...men stood around the water cooler, or in the hallways, or sat in each other's offices (remember those?) and TALKED, about women, sports, politics, women, current events, women, and oh yeah sometimes work. Then they went out for a smoke break. I'd venture to say that the average amount of time spent goofing off at work has remained fairly constant since the dawn of mankind (with occasional glitches up or down due to societal upheavals). Also, managers forget that the "lazy slacker/hacker" who is always messing around on his computer is the same guy they go to when they desperately need computer expertise. The woman who's always "wasting time" on Facebook or Twitter is the expert they go to when they need to set up a company Facebook or Twitter account. (OTOH: Angry Birds???)

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

Let me introduce you to the new crop of workers that will be replacing your retiring Baby Boomers. They don't cotton too well to that kind of draconian management style. True story: An old-school engineering manager, much like yourself, got tired of yelling to get his new hires' attention over their iPods, so he banned iPods. (There were other things, too--IM, Facebook, YouTube, extended lunches, chit-chatting, leaving early--you get the picture.) 25 new engineers banned together and turned in their resignations. HR had a fit (considering the cost to woo these bright young minds) and this got the attention of the CEO, who, to everyone's surprise, sided with HR, that "tolerance and flexibility" was called for in relating to this generation of workers. Of course, the veterans engineers, who had been working longer than these kids had been alive, were visibly miffed, to say the least. Well, rather than be the grandparent of unruly grandchildren, the manager decided to take early retirement. And continues still, are the iPods, iPhones, IMs, Facebooking, and YouTube. It seems, not only do they have the upper hand at home, with their discipline-shy parents, they have the advantage at work, too, with bosses who failed to do adequate workforce planning. (But if it weren't for tolerance and flexibility, I wouldn't feel comfortable goofing off, right now, waiting for lunchtime!!)

kraabeasa
kraabeasa

the line gets blurred between work and personal hours. If an employer expects you to be on call 24/7, take e-mails and phone calls on your personal time, they should also be willing to give a little on your personal time creeping in to "traditional" work hours.

rudra.ghosh
rudra.ghosh

Then please let Zenprise oil there own machine ! May God bless it....

janitorman
janitorman

could just smoke at your desk, or on the job. The health fanatics have killed productivity by MAKING smokers go outside. Maybe if they all started smoking, the world would be a better place because everyone would then be equal. Why do smokers get penalized and non-smokers get control over what you do? Sure, I can see the occasional office where there is someone sensitive to it, or on oxygen or something, but banning it in bars, restaurants, court-rooms, etc. makes no sense to me.

Suresh Mukhi
Suresh Mukhi

I got the gist. However as any IT Practitioner knows, use of wrong terminology in IT could lead to mistakes. I've heard many users refer to any problem with their machines or software as a "virus". We may understand it is a problem, but not the same thing. I expect better accuracy from Tech Republc writers.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

Since it is the company's network, the boss doesn't want the company enabling such time-wasters. Our company, has modified our Acceptable User and E-Communications Policy to extend the scope beyond the company network, to include "While on company property." Yes, some idiot used his AT&T/Verizon whatever plan to surf smut on his own phone, and got caught. Management was not pleased with his logic of not violating company policy.

rhonin
rhonin

If not BYOD, it is a company device with only company material, apps, connections allowed. Kind of like a secure notebook. Or a blackberry... If it is that big of a security concern it should not be allowed. If it is a concern then handle via training, agreements, accountable actions, etc....

tech
tech

I agree that many of these things can have a place in today's work environment. If I spend 1/3 of my life at work then it should be comfortable and enjoyable even if I'm working for someone else's bottom line. I expect to get my responsibilities taken care and go above and beyond that by looking for things to do, but I also may need a break before I "blow up" at all the seriousness. Humor and socializing are basic human needs - I'm not a computer (but if I were I'd be a PC - sorry Mac)

rwbyshe
rwbyshe

Do you really think that the work force has changed? I'm not talking about what technology is available to them I'm talking about the people being people. Whether the person was born 40 or 50 years ago or if they are entering the work force just out of college today. There are inherent things in the make up of the individual. Some are professional and have impeccable integrity and many others have some set of professionalism and integrity that is much less than ideal and they are the ones that will waste 10% or more of the employers work day. That is what I'm talking about. You seem to think that the evolving work force of today is somehow different because they have high end laptops, wifi, smart phones, etc. It's no different. The only difference is in what they are carrying with them. Integrity is integrity and professionalism is professionalism and if ya aint got it then you'll never have it! You seem to think that the classic work ethic has changed... it hasn't and it's time you realized that. Whether you have a smart phone in your pocket or an old 4 function calculator in your pocket the "work ethic" does not change! Nuff said....

Ndiaz.fuentes
Ndiaz.fuentes

So employers should now pay employees to browse the web, look at lolcats, and research memes? What rwbyshe@... proposes isn't draconian management, it's responsible management. Tolerance is completely irrelevant here: we're not talking about disagreeing on ideals, we're talking about using work hours to screw around facebook. Allowing employees to listen to music (your iPod story) is one thing, but allowing them to waste company time is totally different. Should cops be allowed to take a break from that high speed chase to answer that text? Should sport stars be able to call for a time out just so they can reply to their facebook fans? Extreme examples, yes, but they make my point: there's a time and place for these things, and it's not at work (unless you work on social media, and even then there should be controls). Any employee that expects to be paid for roaming the interwebs on company time should be relegated to a career of flipping burgers and asking people if they want fries with that. Also, I'm only 20, so your point about baby boomers doesn't really apply to me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Because cigarette smoke is a proven carcinogen. "Maybe if they all started smoking, the world would be a better place because everyone would then be equal." The same could be said if the minority quit smoking.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

Are these blanket guidance policies being envoked because our leadership views these gadgets as toys and the employees abusing them, as children? Let me try to explain what I mean. The workplace has three generations of employees--60s, 40s, and 20s, we'll say. From my (unprofessional) observations of my own workplace, the 60s long ago set the "standard" for what constitutes appropriate workplace behavior, the 40s are trying to conform to that standard, but the zeal of the challenge-the-status-quo 20s is very appealing. The workplace is in an obvious state of change. You say to address the individual, but have to ask, how many individuals does it take before a policy is warranted? If CIOs are handing down new rules, then it stands to reason the issue has to be pretty widespread and/or of great concern to management. What's so fasinating to me about this blacklist is, the 60s never had a problem with these kinds of distractions, like playing Angry Birds, for example, (assuming they even knew what that was), the 40s wouldn't have dared played it at work, but the 20s seem to love it every spare moment they can, even at work. So, if the 60s are still making the rules, and they see the 20s not falling in line, with Angry Birds being yet another example of that, could the perception be that of parents supplying guidance to wayward children? Are the Pull Up Your Pants laws stupid? Well, yeah, but I can see the lawmakers' point. Are curfews really necessary? School dress codes? Anti-bullying campaigns? Sexting awareness? How many tickets had to be written, how many people had to die, before texting while driving was addressed through shotgun-blast state laws? And it just occured to me, when these people survive their youths and begin to enter the workplace, what new behaviors and influences will they bring? I see where you are coming from, but I think we are way pass isolated incidents. Too many people are not doing their jobs, and there are too many individuals to address. It's just interesting what it is that is causing them to not do their jobs. It used to be too many smoke breaks and gossip around the water cooler.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

behind the pulpit, you can tell who is paying attention and who is asleep. In the few times our pastor had to address the audience, he was speaking to the "youth section." (They were such a unique moments, maybe that's why it came to mind.) Another time, a phone rang. The pastor said, "Tell them you're in church. Where are they? Because you're holding a seat for them." Thunderous applause followed. But you're right, these 15-20 year-olds could have been adding notes, bookmarks, highlights, etc. But all the muffled DINGs that Sunday were pretty distracting. At our last staff meeting, our manager had to address 3 employees for tapping on their iPads during her and others' presentations. Yes, they were doing work-related tasks, but it never occured to them the inappropriateness of doing it right then and there. Again...the device isn't at fault, but the behavior of the individual using the device was the concern. If the boss sees a pattern of behavior at future meetings, she will have no choice but to banish the devices for the table.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Olive Tree NIV bible on my IOS devices. The problem I'm having with your arguments is your perception of the employees as children and in need of guidance through blanket policy. As I stated before if someone isn't doing their job, address the individual problem. Don't use a shotgun blast.

XoomXoom
XoomXoom

The problem with our Preacher that does this is that 20% of us now have our Bible on our phones and most aren't texting but following along with the sermon and/or adding notes, bookmarks, highlights, etc. Perfect example of how some don't get the evolution and just assume from their old point of view that we're all doing something wrong with the devices.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

It's about employees not having appropriate control over their own behavior. BYOD does not mean an employee is exempt from the rules just because he bought the computer with his own money. Employees are not understanding that, because the alternative is to ban personal devices altogether. Now that would be draconian. What we all see as Common Sense apparently is so eluding, that it is not Common, and CIOs have to spell it out for it to make Sense. Have you ever had a preacher, pause his sermon, to ask people to stop texting? A preacher. In church. On Sunday morning. It's not just at work.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Unless your company is in the smut business he wasn't doing his damn job. Write him up or fire him for that, not make it a control issue over something he owns.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

You misunderstand...I agree with you, but it appears those things that make up an individual are not inherent, after all, evidenced by having to blacklist these apps at all. The concept of classic work ethics hasn't changed, but the calibre of worker, actually adopting and adhering to these, has. Perhaps ethics and professionalism are taught--before entering the workforce? My point was, there seems to be a sense of workplace entitlement now, that used to not be there before, to the point where some things are just "expected" and "assumed," simply because there isn't a rule against it. My executive management has instituted nameless/faceless polices to try to address these behavioral issues (as opposed to that manager being a focal point of conflict in his attempt to maintain discipline and order). But the fact that a specific policy HAS to be written that says, Thou shalt not e-Trade at work, is new and different. Whereas, before, employees themselves exhibited some measure of evaluating workplace appropriateness, now it seems the limits are being pushed, to where the trivial items on this blacklist has the Execs' attention, because company performance is being affected. 20 years ago, we (IT) would remove the games from Windows in order to make the image smaller for deployment. Today, with faster networks and larger drives, management is removing the games to keep people from playing them all the time.

Editor's Picks