Outsourcing

Poll: Is your IT department blocking users from watching the Olympics?

With the Olympics, there's going to be video streams all day every day for two weeks. This has the potential to be a major productivity-killer. Are your organization and your IT department concerned, and will you do content filtering? Take our poll.

In March, we discussed IT departments blocking the NCAA basketball tournament in order to keep workers from watching video streams at their desks and losing productivity. However, IT had to primarily worry about the first two days of the tournament because those were the only two days when games were on during working hours. With the Olympics, there's going to be video streaming all day every day for two weeks (see Will the Olympics melt the Internet?).

This has the potential to be a major productivity-killer. Are your organization and your IT department concerned?

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

11 comments
ed.collom
ed.collom

Do we care about bandwidth consumption? Absolutely! Users aren't there to watch TV on their workstations...they're being paid to work...and why let a few users consume most of the bandwidth and affect other people on the network?

eurojames
eurojames

I would maintain that this is a poll on organisational policy - not on whether IT departments care about bandwidth and what they 'think' they should stop/control implement - which is where you seemed to have missed the point. As an IT manager this maybe something to raise - but it's certainly not my place to set a policy for. If bandwidth may become a problem then it's up to IT professionals/managers to discuss options with other senior management. Some of these options can be a draconian 'no streaming of an event/media', only blocked during working hours etc. Other options we discussed were increasing bandwidth (if you're network can't handle some streaming I would suggest you have bigger problems that a policy decision), or like in our case, a quality of service was implemented. Streaming from certain sites was downgraded to ensure critical business functions were not impeded (some streaming is critical for us as an educational organisation).

BigHamster
BigHamster

They're here to work. They can use a personal VCR or DVR at home to record what you want to watch when work is done.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

About a month ago at http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/networking/?p=587 Seriously, does anybody coordinate content at TR?

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

it ain't a dictatorship. We give writers and editors the freedom to explore topics, sometimes the same topics. Now, these are two different types of pieces. The piece you mentioned was what we call a "pointer article"- it points to other articles on the Web. The current piece is a poll.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

we block ALL streaming video; Olympics, NCAA Final Four, Super Bowl, everything. The questions implies there are some firms that allow streaming video most of the time but then block certain events that may cause a problem. I submit there are more places with full-time blocks than ones that block only suspected bandwidth-hogging special events. For one thing, it's just easier to set it and forget it. For another, a 'special event' may be totally ignored in some areas where a local event may bring a building's connection to it's knees; college football games come to mind. Does anybody block just special events?

eurojames
eurojames

Why would you block everything? You do realise that there is no conclusive evidence suggesting that people are less productive when there is non-work based content available. There is however evidence suggesting than music increases workplace productive and employees who follow events together are happier, loyal, collaborative and thus more productive. Something to think about when everyone is looking to gain a competitive advantage!

jblalock4
jblalock4

Will answer in a second. Watching the Olympics at my desk right now. :) Actually in the small business where I had control they would have been blocked but now I work for a large entity and nothing much appears to be blocked here although streaming TV or radio has recently been strongly discouraged. Yeah, that's gonna stop em. ;)

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Take the poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=807 Are you worried about the Olympics video streams clogging bandwidth and/or killing worker productivity? Does your company deal with it with a policy or content filtering or both? Or do you simply trust your workers?

mclellandl
mclellandl

We block video strmg unless it's for business or training purposes to protect bandwidth

jsaubert
jsaubert

Are we supposed to? No. Do we? Meh, sometimes. I don't think that anyone is watching it live from my office. It's just not that interesting this year and with the 12 hour time difference there are very few events to watch. I have caught people checking on the NBC Olympic site to see how their favorite athletes are doing and the metal standings but that's about it. The TV in the lounge and in our 911 dispatch center have been tuned in to the Olympics 24 hours since the start, so if anyone really wants to know what's going on they just go for coffee or poke their head in 911. That being said ... you should have seen us during the NCAA playoffs.

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