It's troubling when IT people attempt to become the stick that management didn't know they had. Worrying that employees might spend time online doing something someone doesn't consider work is not a sys admin's job. The only way to measure performance is if a task is completed in the time allotted, and under-budget. If not, is it that person's fault or is there a slacker in the workflow? I've seen people miss deadlines simply using Microsoft Word - they tend to over-write contracts and summaries. I've seen others spend a lot of time shopping online but they fulfill your requests faster than expected.
The biggest distraction in many offices I've worked in is the amount of time some employees spend on the phone (landline or mobile). At times they become so engrossed in a conversation that typing is no longer heard. But even if we still had switchboard operators it wouldn't be their job to control that. It's still a manager's job to firmly guide the team to task completion. IT is just auxiliary support.
Did you read that IT dudes and dudettes? The office wanker does get invited to happy hour. (Still the best place to network with the more attractive or simply willing employees in your workplace.)
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