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  • #2176126

    games on workstations


    by tprattbp ·

    I manage a small network, under 50 workstations. We enforce a strict acceptable use policy that does not permit anyone but IT to install software, no personal e-mail or Internet use. However, we have always permited the few games that come with Windows, hearts, pinball, etc., to remain. Recently, the Human Resources manager expressed concern that employees that are doing data entry all day are remaining at their desks during lunch and playing these games increasing health risk. In addition, she wonders if it sends a wrong message, if we restrict personal use of workstations in all other areas to allow it in this area. I was wondering what others have done in similar circumstances (small-single branch companies).

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    • #3348159

      HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

      by hockeyist ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Similar situation experienced at my previous company. The damage is done from the time the person sits down; not during lunch (“let’s blame the employee” mentality from HR). Your situation is a typical response from HR.
      A HR initiated ergonomic plan would be the way to go. There are a lot of consultants out there who are experts in ergonomics.
      In my case I suggested that the impact to morale would be greater than the affect on health. I suggested that we could use software to prompt the employee to stretch (with diagrams on the screen) every now and then (didn’t Microsoft have something in their product that did this?). What happened in my case was our HR person checked that screens, chairs and keyboards were lined up properly according to ergonomic rules and that was it; pretty useless.
      If someone knows of that product which prompts you to stretch please let us know.

      • #3348097


        by choppit ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        Try pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete with one hand repeatedly.

        • #3348081

          Wrong “option”

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Windows

          He only wanted “every now and then”.

          Got to fine the option that ONLY happens a few times a day to promote health, without reducing proficency.

      • #3333175

        HR are Idiots.

        by tmeedel ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        Let them play the windows games over lunch. For many older workers this helps them become more comfortable with their computers. My big issue has been the entire office installing an running Webshots. I managed IT in a Academic setting and learned that academic freedom allows users to install most anything on their PC’s. Well users took advantage of that and installed webshot, this poses a problem as it dramaticly increases network traffic. I personally feel webshots are far more of a concern than are the games. I also think HR should look to see who is looking for work while working.

        • #3333149

          Reply To: games on workstations

          by techjock ·

          In reply to HR are Idiots.

          I couldn’t agree more.

        • #3334773


          by garyq9 ·

          In reply to HR are Idiots.

          The solution to WebShots is not to tear your hair out trying to get rid of it, but to play them at their own game.

          I was Network Admin for 5 schools who all loved Webshots – pretty pictures for the kids to gawk at. I downloaded and burned a CD containing 1000 ‘safe’ backgrounds, and installed them on the local server. Then I blocked traffic to the actual webshots site, and only allowed use of the sanctioned wallpapers locally.


        • #3334924


          by rush2112 ·

          In reply to Webshots

          I personally think that webshots and weatherbug software and anything else that invades the LAN or opens security holes needs to be pinned down, and eliminated before the next bug/worm/trojan/malware comes along and wipes out the corporate network due to this slack policy.

          on the other hand solitare and games should be something that only people who have TIME to do should be doing. Lunch is appropriate. After hours is appropriate.

          It is not unhealthy to sit at your desk unless you have health issues with sitting still.
          The mental relaxation from playing a mindless game can improve productivity.

          Some people like things that BLOW UP and they imagine that they are all the customers that they need to be shooting just to reduce stress from playing nice toward the customer in the face of immenant stupidity and emotional rage. A few minutes of this actually calms people down.

      • #3332851


        by ole88 ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        I found the information for stretches and setting up ergonomic workstations at UCSD. The link is,1162,4817,FF.html?delivery=&coming_from=. There is a good bit of information contained here and you could put your own program together to help.

      • #3332804

        Most Company Don’t

        by logos-systems ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        Most companies that I have worked for have removed all games from their system. In addition to this they have very specific policies that prohibit anyone from adding any unauthorized software.

      • #3334789

        Stretch Break is the software we use.

        by leslie.williams@transcore ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        Our department bought the software called: Stretch Break. You can set it to remind you to stretch (and do various short stretching exercises) every so often. You can have it automatically start when you start windows, set amount of time between stretches, how many stretches you do each time and even has soothing music (you can disable it if wanted). I like it because you would be surprised at how quickly time flies when you are working in front of your computer. This serves as a great reminder. The cost is minimal as well. Here is the website for the free trial: – good luck!


      • #3232581

        Oosie Micropause

        by stuart_at_oz ·

        In reply to HR is usually useless when it comes to IT

        We use Oosie Micropause at our office, see

        It’s installed as part of our SOE so anyone can turn it on as they wish.


    • #3348155

      Sorry if this sounds blunt…but this seems ridiculous to me..

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Maybe I misunderstand, but what is an extra 30-60 minutes at your computer gonna do health wise if you already put in 8 hours at your computer everyday?

      • #3333321

        putting health first

        by cgbullock ·

        In reply to Sorry if this sounds blunt…but this seems ridiculous to me..

        People do need a break from the keyboard, some businesses make it mandatory of data entry clerks to take breaks away from their computer to that their hands get a break. Carpal tunnel is one of the main health concerns facing businesses today.

        • #3333234

          Take a lesson from a pianist…

          by cq_west ·

          In reply to putting health first

          I suspect one of the major problems with developing carpal tunnel is knowing the right way to type.

          Check out a concert pianist sometime. You’ll find that many of them practice at least 8 hours a day (if not more). You almost never hear of a pianist with carpal tunnel, yet the action to activate a single piano key requires more force than a keyboard. Why is it so rare to hear of carpal tunnell in a pianist? Technique.

          Most data-entry is done by focusing use of the muscles in the fingers. However, if the wrist is slightly elevated (and not physically resting on the desk, keyboard, etc) the write and arm gets involved, reducing the muscle use of the hands.

          As a programmer, this is a valuable way to type. It also helped me pick up a few extra characters per minute.

        • #3332982

          pianists may not press keys as fast as typists

          by kyuso ·

          In reply to Take a lesson from a pianist…

          Also, pianists don’t focus their eyes on a screen. They use their memory of music notes, while data entry typists have to look at new data every time.

          Besides, playing a piano gives a direct auditory feedback through your varied movement and force. Typing same type of data over and over on a computer doesn’t provide much feedback, since only the data shows up on the screen. You never know how your wrist is bent or how much force you have exerted on the fingers.

        • #3332911
          Avatar photo

          That is why it should

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to pianists may not press keys as fast as typists

          Be ergonomically correct in the first place! Do not attempt to pass the blame onto a few minutes playing a game for any injuries that may be got when it is known that they would have got the same injury anyway by just doing their job.

          Col ]:)

        • #3333957

          I played the piano several hours a day

          by moira ·

          In reply to Take a lesson from a pianist…

          I have also experience of serious practice as a pianist.

          I did develop tennis elbow from the same sort of repetitive action so it is not without similar risks.

          And I was trained as a typist so *do* type correctly (when using a computer).

          Basically any repetitive activity can cause problems even if done correctly. My tennis elbow was at its worst when I was practising for exams or a performance somewhere, ie the added tension made my hand movements more tense I guess and the exercises I was doing to speed up reaction time also added to the physical strain as they were quite demanding and needed a lot of practice!

        • #3333212

          Non sense

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to putting health first

          In all companies (any company I worked at or heard about anyway) there are at least 2 10 minutes breaks outside of lunch, then you have the “unofficial breaks” (as I like to call them) where people gab at random points in the day, then you have the meetings that last for an hour plus.

          So spare me, we all know how office culture is — its RARE that folks are literally keying away nonstop with no break for hours on end.

          I agree with the other poster its HOW you type that cases carpal tunnel, not how LONG you type.

    • #3348135

      We’re a bit more anal.

      by dnvrtechgrrl ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I have removed everything from the workstations.
      They have Internet, it’s required for their jobs, but anything harmful has been blocked at the firewall, they aren’t allowed to download via group policy, and the games are removed before the box ever hits the floor.

      They will sit and play solitaire for hours if you let them…

      • #3348079

        That is a little bit different though

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        If you never had it, you don’t miss it and it is just the way it is.

        If you start taking things away, you WILL create a feeling of resentment.

        Then the passive resistance will start and watch productivity drop.

        • #3332588

          Oh jeez…

          by dnvrtechgrrl ·

          In reply to That is a little bit different though

          We have that problem anyway.
          Either local management is telling me to take something away or Corporate is telling me to take something away.

          I try to find a buffer in that situation.
          No, you can’t have your games, but… I’ll set up a dummy pc that’s not connected to the network so you can play during your lunch hour.

          I hate taking away anything without offering something in return. Very few people here abuse the rules and they shouldn’t be treated as though they do. The mentality with management is to strip the computers of anything that might affect productivity. No internet, no music, no games, nothing. Just sit and work or be fired.


        • #3332453

          Crack that whip!

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Oh jeez…

          Wow, must be a miserable place to exist. I feel your pain, I used to work in a union shop.

          And to make matters worse, your the messenger getting (hated, loathed, spit on) for doing as the master on high dictates.

          Where I am it pretty hands off, and I wouldn’t have the authority unless handed down from a few steps higher to do something. And as they are just as guilty the last thing they want to do is start pointing fingers. Keeps things “interesting”, to say the least.

          Good luck there. (is that a growl at the end of your user name or u a girl?)

        • #3333317

          We don’t allow games either

          by admingirl ·

          In reply to Crack that whip!

          I also work in a corporate environment, but it is each companies decision whether to allow Windows games or not.
          I personally remove all Windows games before the pc is placed into production. A couple users ruined it a few years ago for everyone. They were caught playing games most of their day and it wasn’t fair to only remove from one, so now they are removed from all (including the HR dept).

        • #3333299

          This is starting to sound familiar…

          by jrats_revenge ·

          In reply to Crack that whip!

          Games… Hmmmm, I don’t recall those in our list of “approved” company software. You mean to tell me, people actually spend their time playing games when they are supposed to be doing company related work? I didn’t see a spot on my paycheck where they allowed time for playing solitaire. I thought that is what my home PC was for?

          I bet this is why HR chimed in first. Productivity for a companys workforce equals dollar in pocket for the company. Video games, chat rooms, surfing the net looking for vacation spots and airfares equals less production from employees and less money for company… Will the employee mind when said company reduces the employees paycheck as well?

          Just a thought

        • #3333255

          Exactly So

          by rojackson ·

          In reply to This is starting to sound familiar…

          Glad to hear someone else questioning the thought that someone should be allowed to play games on company equipment, either on or off company time. What happened to the old-fashioned work ethic, where people understood that a job was not a place where people come to recreate?

          There is nothing more aggravating for me than to walk by someone’s workstation and see solitaire or some other game up, either as a customer or as a co-worker. Either way we all pay for their lack of productivity.

        • #3333090


          by mknapp231 ·

          In reply to Exactly So

          would you like some cheese with your whine?

        • #3332836


          by arleenw ·

          In reply to Exactly So

          The original post stated that HR was concerned because employees were playing the games during their lunch breaks – not on company time.

        • #3333235

          If they aren’t getting their work done

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to This is starting to sound familiar…

          then their paycheck will be reduced to nothing.

          I am not against system going out with the games removed, but anytime you go out and take something away you lose a little more good will with your employees.

          Loss of goodwill equals loss of that extra effort that a lot of good employees put in when it is crunch time.

          The other point I made was if HR is the one to have the problem, let them be the ones to approach upper management to get the policy changed and get the mandate set to go out and remove all games. It is the managers job to decide if people are getting their work done, not IT or HR. Outside management never works and neither does micromanagement.

          How many times did I work WHILE scarfing down a quick sandwich or oatmeal in a cup because I had things to do? (just about everyday) So your going to come down on me if I take a little stress break once in a while? That or maybe look at some of the porn e-mails management has forwarded on….

        • #3333081

          Excellent points….I agree with you

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to If they aren’t getting their work done

          Exactly. And I’ll admit I need to learn to relax a bit more myself (not just work related but in general)…but dude, some of these guys make me look laid back.

          I guess these folks don’t realize if you properly setup thinks like account security, local user profiles, network monitoring, web filtering, etc. that you can allow an employee to unwind AT LUNCH without being anal about it.

        • #3333086

          I guess you missed the little part about LUNCH break

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to This is starting to sound familiar…

          Look what is the rule at a company…is the rule at a company. If my employer said no games, it wouldn’t matter to me and I’d pull it from all desktops. Likewise if my employer said its fine as long as its monitored and only on lunch breaks — I’d just a soon do that.

          But the original post was talking about what employees occupy their selves with DURING LUNCH BREAKS. THAT IS YOUR (“EMPLOYEE”) TIME!

          If any employee is dumb enough to abuse this very nice “side benefit”, or they are caught taking it a step further with porn surfing, trying to install their stuff, etc. Then you fire them – its that easy, cut and dry. Ok maybe on the first offense you give them a warning and they pull the “side benefit” of playing games on Lunch away from them. Second time you fire them.

          The think that really cracks me up at work are the bean counters and execs who see everything as “productivity” or “cost savings”…they focus on this so much, their eyes just see percentages and dollar signs.

          Those same narrow minded folks never seem to think about how moral, feeling comfortable, getting a period to relax abit — how that can attribute to more productivity AND it costs the company no money!

          Just a thought 🙂

        • #3332987
          Avatar photo

          I fully agree Tom

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I guess you missed the little part about LUNCH break

          Buy depending on LABOR LAWS where this person is they may be forced to give a few warnings before dismissing the person/s involved.

          The ones that I really love are the bean counters who see everything as an expense and not the money that these people are responsible for bringing in, perhaps it might be a good idea to suggest that the people who think of everything as an expense get fired and let the real people get on with their work making profits. 😉

          Col ]:)

        • #3335454

          Reply To: games on workstations

          by amy.macgregor ·

          In reply to Oh jeez…

          thats a good point when removing something, replace it with a dummy terminal or a stand alone!! good point !

        • #3330280

          Its the Company’s Property

          by kaptkos ·

          In reply to Oh jeez…

          Any abuse of company property/policy should be
          punishable. They are paid to work, not play games or surf porn all day using company assets.
          If they dont like it there’s enough other people
          out there that need a job.


        • #3331534
          Avatar photo

          While I really do agree

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Its the Company’s Property

          It makes it very hard when it is the Bosses doing this as there is no one to make a formal complaint to. 🙁

          From my experience it is the people higher up the food chain who do this type of thing and the average grunts just lack the time to play like this.

          Col ]:)

      • #3332620


        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        …and if it’s not on the computer, they’ll bring it in on a floppy or CD.

        • #3333229

          Total Lockdown…

          by cq_west ·

          In reply to Solitaire…

          That doesn’t always work. A company that I worked for installed all the software the computer needed and then removed the CD and floppy drives… the only way you were installing games on that computer was to know the network admin. They even went so far as to install custom software that would restore the computer to the original state. This occured every quarter.

        • #3330279

          Then take away the floppy/cd drive

          by kaptkos ·

          In reply to Solitaire…

          What is on the hard drive and available from the
          network is all they need to do their job.
          Dont like it find another job! There’s enough
          people jobless that would be willing to work!


      • #3333072


        by billdprat ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        Very real problem of not taking breaks from keyboarding. Has to be dealt with administratively by line managers. HR did good to raise the concern.

        • #3332986
          Avatar photo

          But instead of removing the games

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Ergonomics/Carpal

          It would be a much better idea to provide a safe working environment wouldn’t it?

          If the keyboards/mice where all properly ergonomically supported with the proper equipment this just would not be an issue would it?

          I would be far more concerned about a 8 hours a day + involved in any form of data entry than a fraction of an hour that was not on comp[any time.

          Col ]:)

        • #3334795

          Software available to schedule breaks

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Ergonomics/Carpal

          There is software available that interupts you at predefined intervals for stretching breaks, even one for eye exercizes! (to keep your vision from becoming blurry).
          I don’t remember where I saw revu of this.

          If you sit too long at one setting is bad for you and you get sleepy often. This is due to reduced circulation and sugar buildup in your blood. Walking actually pumps blood in your legs due to venous valve design. If you intersperse sitting at terminal with occasional walking around or breaks then not a problem.

        • #3334664
          Avatar photo

          But then the HR person

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Software available to schedule breaks

          Would be claiming that you are not doing your job and want to come down on you like a ton of bricks.

          Col ]:)

        • #3325751

          They wanted the breaks

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to But then the HR person

          I’d ask HR to get it for me. After all they don’t want more disability claims because I didn’t stretch or take breaks occasionally.

      • #3332844

        Sometimes the way to go…

        by ole88 ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        I agree that some people will play games all day if you let them. These are usually the people who took the job for a paycheck. I find that those people who enjoy their job and the environment/co-workers around them tend to work a bit more. We don’t have any problems with people playing games all day. Due in part to the fact that the managers/supervisors keep an eye on them and will have us remove the games if they seem to be “playing too much.” By leaving it the supervisors decision, IT is blameless when it comes to the removal – we get to tell them to talk to their supervisor about it. In your case, it’s policy and you are again out of the line of fire by pointing it out.

      • #3331405

        …even more than that…

        by matt.hodgen ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        Not only do we do all of the above, we have software that blocks the executables and dll’s of all Microsoft games. We also block installations of all types. If given the opportunity, I would take away the “Start” button. Part of the education has been vocabulary. A “Personal Computer” is what you have at home. The company provides you with a “workstation” to do your job. Before this was implemented, we monitored the number of times sol.exe was executed on each machine. 25% of employees averaged 3X a day even though it was expressly forbidden.

        I love being “Big Brother”

        • #3330695

          What a waste of time

          by mary.hoerr ·

          In reply to …even more than that…

          So basically you verified that people are probably only playing solitaire three times a day, which could very well be during morning break, lunch, and afternoon break.

          And to keep them from doing this, how much are paying for the software to block the executables, plus your time to maintain and troubleshoot the software, plus the time to monitor?

          And of course, every bit of non-standard software contributes, however minutely, to the complexity and possiblity of problems with the workstation.

          Sounds like a net loss to me.

      • #3330664

        I Agree

        by wkim1 ·

        In reply to We’re a bit more anal.

        I belive that they should only have what they need and nothing else if you give them an inch they will take a mile. i work with education institutions alot and they see this problem all the time. LOCK EVERYTHING DOWN. if they need to play solitare that bad bring in a deck of cards.

    • #3348085

      HR staff has WAY too much time on their hands

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Tell the NAZI that cracking a whip all day will NOT make people more productive.

      I would bet they are also clock watchers, worrying if people are a few minutes late in the morning? But they never seem to notice if someone stays AFTER a few minutes, strange.

      You sound like you are in a real camp. I would not act on this without direct marching orders from the top, and let HR take the issue to them.

      If a worker is productive and gets their work done, they never hear from anyone. If their work isn’t done, it doesn’t matter why, see them to the door. Otherwise YOU are just creating a hostile working environment and will have a hard time retaining good workers.

      • #3332619

        Some places DO notice

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to HR staff has WAY too much time on their hands

        if you stay a little late, and will even reprimand you for it.

        • #3332342

          only if you are hourly…

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to Some places DO notice

          because they probably don’t want to be paying any overtime. If you are salaried however, they want you to come in early and stay as late as possible, LOL.

        • #3334443
          Avatar photo

          WRONG, WRONG! If you are on a salary

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to only if you are hourly…

          They expect you to stay there 24/7/52 and even carry a phone on you when you go to the toilet. You are expected to stay there while on any form of break and never allowed to leave the office unless it is work related.

          Unless of course if you are working for a Government Department then it is anything goes and the least amount of time that you actually spend in at work the better it looks. 😉

          Col ]:)

        • #3334343

          Don’t forget about

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to WRONG, WRONG! If you are on a salary

          the chip implant so they can utilize unused brain activity while you sleep, and track your every move and thought.

          This has been neccessary because we have had a rash of calls about people thinking discriminatory thoughts about co-workers and now we can prossocute them for it.

        • #3334242
          Avatar photo

          Oh there I was thinking that the chip was for

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Don’t forget about

          Making a faster interface between the worker and the computer. Plug in and “Look No Keyboard/Mouse Required!” 😉

          But it only makes sense to also use the device to monitor what is being thought about by the plebes who think they are necessary to the organizations success and if in house training doesn’t stop this kind in impure thoughts then by all means lock them up and throw away the key without trial as they have already convicted themselves by their own thoughts and it would save the money and court time required for the trial. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3334235

          Minority Report

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Oh there I was thinking that the chip was for

          You are arrested for the future crime of thinking your co-worker was a dumb poopy head.

          You are also sentence for staring at the pretty, huge, swelling, heaving, moist, golden breasts of the receptionist.

        • #3333002
          Avatar photo

          Not really guilty

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Oh there I was thinking that the chip was for

          I don’t think my coworkers are stupid although I once did but that was a long time ago and they where stupid! 🙂

          As for the receptionist well if you where to see her you would go running in the other direction for protection.;)

          Actually the people i have around me now I think are brilliant although they are willing to put up with me so they must have some shortcomings. Perhaps it is all of my staff how should be locked up to protect me from them. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3184071

          Can you die?

          by christopher_painter ·

          In reply to Oh there I was thinking that the chip was for

          if you’re unfortuneate enough to die on the job and still stay sitting will they pay you till the end of you’re shift or will they repremand you?? and dock your pay!!!!

        • #3333315

          Foil Hat

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Don’t forget about

          Still another example of a good reason to wear a foil hat at all times. Not only to block the incoming alien transmissions, but also to block outgoing transmissions from the chip implant, so you can be free to think whatever you want.

        • #3332984
          Avatar photo

          Tom I’m still laughing

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Foil Hat

          Col ]:)

        • #3333345

          Government IT Workers

          by ron-in-miami, pmp ·

          In reply to WRONG, WRONG! If you are on a salary

          I work for the DoD as an IT professional and assure you that we also are expected to come in early and stay late just like our salaried counterparts in the commercial world. With the current worldwide operations tempo, and the deployied force’s increased dependency on IT as a force multiplier there is no “anything goes” attitude in our government organization.

        • #3333021

          Ditto here

          by scott_n ·

          In reply to Government IT Workers

          I agree.

          I work for the Oz government and rarely have I seen the ‘anything goes’ attitude. I’ve got a mobile and laptop and have been expected to be on call round the clock.

        • #3332981
          Avatar photo

          Scott you are

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Ditto here

          Obviously not in the Network Integration side of the OZ Government are you?

          When they rolled out the fiber optic cables it was my suggestion that the AU Government did the same thing and they would only be required to cover the costs of the raw materials as the cost of surveying the route was already done and the trench diggers had to be there anyway so it was just as easy to throw in 2 cables as one. The response was we own Telstra and we will tell them what we require. Now something like 15 years latter they no longer totally own Telstra and are being dictated to as to what they =can have available instead of what they need. I understand that they are now going to run their own fiber optic cables but instead of only costing a few million they are talking about several billion $ and a long wait while they survey new routs for the cable to run. Of course it can not be too close to the existing cables as they just might break something when they are digging the holes.

          I can go on but what is currently happening at Lucas Heights is a PRIME EXAMPLE of Government INEPTITUDE not by the grunts on the make it work level but by those responsible for organizing things and accepting design parameters.

          Col ]:)

        • #3332983
          Avatar photo

          I really don’t meant to be blunt

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Government IT Workers

          But you are in a section that is the exception to most Government Departments.

          At one of the places where I used to work we would send something to the printer which was a network printer and then wait for it to come out generally about 7 days latter provided that in that time no one forgot to refill the printer with paper or toner if that happened then it would just take that much longer.

          I was constantly tearing my hair out in an attempt to introduce some efficiency into the place. Finally I got sick and tired of bashing my head against the proverbial brick wall and walked away. I still hear horror stories about what is going on there from some of the people who I used to work with there.

          Col ]:)

        • #3332953

          Amazing stereotype

          by wharvey3 ·

          In reply to I really don’t meant to be blunt

          It amazes me the typical stereotype that one has about government work. I have worked in both the private and public sector. I’ve even performed time-study analysis in the private sector. I
          ve also managed my own business and have had clients in both. There are the same inefficiency and efficiency in both. I’m not talking about one experience with one business in either sector. I’m talking about over 30 years of hands on experience. If private sector had their thing so much together they would not have intrusion issues, bankruptcies, scandals, fraudulant financials and etc. Since the subjet is actually about playing the built-in games during the employees personal time here goes. Stress is the number one reason for health issues and the loss of productivity. If these games allow the employee to relax, remove their preasures of the work and therefore relieve stress, why would you want to prohibit this activity. There should be breaks scheduled every 2 hours. Some where in between that time a person should take a minute to relax their neck, wrists, shoulders and refocus their eyes to mitigate the effects of repetious functions. Leave the games and allow incidental use. Your employees will be better for it. Public or private sector.

        • #3332841

          Not to say you’re blunt

          by graytalon ·

          In reply to I really don’t meant to be blunt

          But a lot of the government agencies have been cut down by spending cuts and by people that want a bigger bonus at the end of the year. I too work for Uncle Sugar in the DoD side of the house. I have been in 15+ years and I will admit that in the beginning of my time here things were, hmm, excessive.
          In the last 10 years I have seen shop sizes dwindle as people retire, seperate, and quit and not be replaced. Automation of tasks that used to be manually performed has removed a lot of bean counters from some areas. Like I said, most of this is through attrition, but there have been some RIFs(Reduction In Force) locally.
          The good old days of being able to get a government job and stay there forever are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

          As far as the games on systems and the reduction in performance goes, people are fairly flexible. If you give them the option to work or starve, most will work. Seriously, if it’s posted that there has been problems with viruses and spyware and port 80 is getting shut down because of it, most will understand. And while you are at it, include the little note at the bottom that entertainment applications are being removed and not give a reason. There will be inital annoyance, but then everyone will just talk about the mean IT guys instead of worrying about it.

      • #3333307


        by moorem1 ·

        In reply to HR staff has WAY too much time on their hands

        Provide employees alternatives. That would be a nice project for the HR manager. “IT” is about providing “solutions” to its customers. Try to engage the HR manager to explore alternatives for her customers. Then, figure out a way to get “buy-in” from employees. If a dog has a bone in its mouth (and has been chewing on this bone for some time)… don’t reach down and pull the bone out. There will likely be a “negative outcome.”

        Lay a steak (solution) down in front of the dog and let it make a choice. (no…I’m not comparing employees to dogs…just trying to give an example)

    • #3348077

      If worried about exercise

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Just put some ex-lax in the coffee.
      That will get people up.
      Start with HR because they are already full of $hit.

      • #3348011
        Avatar photo

        Wouldn’t Bromide

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to If worried about exercise

        Be a better option?

        If HR is really concerned then they should suggest those nice mouse pads with the arm support and decent chairs. Of course that would cost money which I’m betting they don’t want to do. 🙂

        Col ]:)

        • #3348009

          that’s right

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Wouldn’t Bromide

          Everything to protect you, as long as it doesn’t cost anything. Hey HEy HEY! Get awwayyy from my keaayboaard and mmoonitor!!!

      • #3347867

        now, now

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to If worried about exercise

        what about those who, like me, drink so much coffee that putting a laxative in it would be harmfull?

        or, add a diretic, to make them have to pee.
        much healthier.
        ( btw, coffee already dehydrates, so you would need more water to be going into the staff for health reasons. )

    • #3348040

      My standard…

      by atxstranger ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      We have a more liberal acceptable use policy at our firm (about 25 workstations) but I would say taking away the games would be a bad idea. You have already restricted access to the huge time wasters (personal e-mail and internet) and taking away the games is not only likely to decrease productivity but increase turnover (and those numbers are ugly).

      If health is a concern HR needs to develop a program for the majority of the day, leaving at lunch or playing a game at lunch isn’t going to make a huge difference. Since the employees are doing it on their lunch hour (the assumption is they aren’t doing it during working hours) and they aren’t chewing up any other company resources in doing it, I would say let the games stay. If HR really wants to make a stink about it, let them take it to the top levels and have the CEO/President/El Jefe make the announcement.

      • #3333240

        I agree…

        by coldbrew ·

        In reply to My standard…

        We stoped loading games at one time when I worked for a big organization…about 600 users. Talk about backlash. I have read in numberoous studies that taking a 5 to 10 min break to play solitaire is actually productive. One place I read about actually had a package ont he network that only allowd a user so much time per day to play. I don’t think the games are a bad idea. People just need to keep themselves in check.

    • #3347920

      No games

      by amcol ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      As a matter of policy I’ve had my staff set the profiles on all our workstations (desktop and laptop) to have games removed. But that’s purely because I have a personal bias against using business computers for game playing.

      You want to play games, buy an Xbox.

      On the other hand, I also recognize that my personal biases don’t make me the king of the world. We have a lot of folks at my company who are road warriors, and if they want to play a few games on their laptops on the plane or in their hotel rooms I’m not inclined to tell them they can’t. Upon request I’ll allow the games on those machines, but we do it discreetly so it doesn’t become a pervasive issue.

      • #3347855
        Avatar photo

        The only time I’ve seen Games on Business Computers

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to No games

        Was when they came from a chain store and where really home computers brought by a business. I’ve never actually seen any business computers in service loaded with games.

        SO I suspose it all depends on where they are brought from and how much the company is willing top pay.

        Col ]:)

        • #3347659

          I was talking about…

          by amcol ·

          In reply to The only time I’ve seen Games on Business Computers

          the games Microsoft supplies with Windows.

          I don’t allow administrative rights to any of my customers so I can maintain control of the desktop. I’ve had requests to download all kinds of stuff, as well as open up rights so folks can download movies and music. The answer is always no.

          Upon request I’ll have my staff allow the Microsoft game set only.

        • #3333619

          Exactly right

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I was talking about…

          That opens the door for nothing but trouble….games have no place on Corporate PC’s or workstations.

          Our policy includes removing the MS games and (additional) software restrictions.

          After all, the equipement and time belong to the corporation NOT the individual.

          Call me crazy but most people go to work to do just that.

        • #3333559
          Avatar photo

          Unless of course

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Exactly right

          Unless they want to play and get paid for it. 🙂

          I’ve found many end users seem to think that their workstation is their private computer to do with as they please and the number of times I’ve been called in because some idiot has put Yahoo IM onto the thing is incredible. It’s hard to get rid of completely and even worse is quite often tolerated by the corporations. 🙁

          Col ]:)

        • #3333533

          LOL – You got it

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Unless of course

          Bottom line you need managements buy in & a solid AUP.

          Once you give (some) of the guys & gals admin rights you get into crap like IM, Personal E-Mail, cracked software & all the BS that goes with it. Nothing would piss me off more than walking by a desk and seeing someone playing hearts or whatever….

          Leave it at the door & let’em trash their home PC’s…………at least I don’t have to deal with it. 🙂

        • #3333500
          Avatar photo

          My feelings exactly

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to LOL – You got it

          But unfortunately I work as a consultant for small to medium bushiness so I have to give at least one person at each business Admin Rights or I would be called in every time that they have to install a upgrade {Actually that’s not such a bad idea} now if there where only more than 24 hours per day. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3334290

          Reply To: games on workstations

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Exactly right

          kind of an offshoot. I can understand some users expectation of privacy though, similar to that of a company provided locker if the employee supplies the lock. After all, why do we have seperate user accounts and passwords? Why not just one logon for everyone in sales, one for everyone in shipping, etc.

        • #3334196

          Privacy?……Not a chance

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Reply To: games on workstations

          I think I understand what your saying….but users should have NO such expectation.

          The Corporate network AND infrastructure is a tool supplied to an individual – Nothing more.

          Just like phone audits are performed monthly (and sometimes recorded) PC audits are done in the same way.

          Do you know who else may have read your mail last week?

          The word account is short for accountability.

        • #3347627

          It depends on whether or not the boss is too cheap to buy them

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to The only time I’ve seen Games on Business Computers

          I liked my boss who would run out on a weekend and buy 8 or 10 copies of a new game so we could all play at the office. I would put in a couple of hours on a work report for installing new graphics cards, instaling games and setting up a game host on the network. I even had a joystick and game pad plugged into mine most of the day. My boss was always buying new monitors because I could kill him with ease as I had a really high end monitor with great definition and color depth. Not too mention a top of the line NVidea QuadroFX 256 card for gaming, er..I mean…AutoCad. 🙂

          Some companies are just too uptight and stuffy it seems, no thanks.

        • #3333733

          If you’re not kidding about this…

          by amcol ·

          In reply to It depends on whether or not the boss is too cheap to buy them

          then explain to us exactly how this contributes to the mission of any corporate entity, in any business, of any size, in any geography…you get the picture.

          I’m all for blowing off a little steam every now and then…that’s what personal time is for. I fail to see how or why there should be corporate sponsorship in the form of enabling computer games to do so. Call me a stuffed shirt…I go to work to, guess what, work. I assume everyone else does the same.

        • #3333712

          team building?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to If you’re not kidding about this…

          My bosses boss aways buys the rounds on Thursday nights after work. How is this helping business? Well, if you feel you belong and are part of a group you are USUALLY more inclinded to give that little bit extra when needed.

          As long as it doesn’t get in the way of work getting done, it in no way harms the company.

        • #3333639

          Thursday NIGHTS…AFTER work

          by amcol ·

          In reply to team building?

          No problem. I do much the same thing for my folks, and I’m not in sales (any longer).

          “As long as it doesn’t get in the way of work getting done, it in no way harms the company.”

          My point exactly.

          Maybe I wasn’t clear. I was parochially defining the limits of the issue as computer games on corporate resources. Beyond that I have no issue.

        • #3333678

          Welcome to the sales world

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to If you’re not kidding about this…

          When much of your times is NOT 9-5 but hours are put in as needed, often 9PM evenings, with early mornings to follow, you write your own ticket.

          I have seen MANY similar organizations that often don’t even see staff members for several days or staff come and go as they choose, play 3 hours of golf midday and then work for 16 hours the next.

          Many sales based organizations have adults on staff and allow them to manage their own time.

          In the end there is ONLY ONE key factor of importance. Numbers at the end of the month, If people do the numbers, the boss couldn’t care less if they worked 1 hour or 160 in the month.

          I have worked in many positions like this, in fact MOST work I’ve had is like that. You have goals that either you or the employer sets. How you reach them is up to you.

        • #3333626

          Sorry…I completely disagree

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Welcome to the sales world

          Your position reminds me of how the Soviet economy, such as it was, used to work before the fall of communism. A tractor factory would have a quota of ten tractors produced per month. If they were able to make the ten tractors by the end of the third week, all the workers would go home…a free week’s vacation. After all, they made quota, didn’t they? The idea of using all their time productively never occurred to them, principally because they weren’t incented to do so.

          I know how sales organizations work. I’ve been part of them, and I’ve supported them. I know what you’re saying is true…it happens in my current company, and in every other place I’ve been. But irrespective of how management views the relative maturity level of their adult salespeople, I absolutely disagree that the only thing that matters is results at the end of the month.

          I’m a salesperson. Let’s say I’m a pretty good salesperson. You’re my sales manager. My quota is 50 widgets sold per month. I go off on my rounds and I come back at month end having sold 60 widgets. I’m a star, right? Suppose I was able to sell those 60 widgets by the end of the second week. Would you still judge me the same way? I think not.

          Wait a minute…this isn’t communism, it’s capitalism. I’m INCENTED to sell as much as possible in a specific period of time. I’m on commission, so the more I sell the more I make. What’s wrong here?

          It depends on what motivates me. I may be perfectly happy selling my 60 widgets per month against a quota of 50. On the other hand you, my manager, have a departmental goal of 500 monthly widgets sold by your 10 sales people. You, being the ambitious young buck that you are, want to show the higher ups your superior leadership skills so you want to deliver 1,000 widgets per month. I’ll let you do the math, but it’s obvious we’re working for the same company but at cross purposes.

          So how do we fix this? Sure, it’s important to treat people with respect for their adulthood and professionalism. In a sales environment, however, you have to keep close tabs on what people are doing, all the time. If you don’t it’s like a box of chocolates, Forrest…you never know what you’re gonna get.

          Don’t EXpect what you don’t INspect.

        • #3333560
          Avatar photo

          Actually while I hate to say this

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Sorry…I completely disagree

          At a previous company where I worked I oversold a certain model of unit and the response was to stop production of that unit and go with the domestic ones as they made a better profit. Firstly on the sale and then on spare parts which where required by the domestic units doing and industrial job. They just keep breaking so the company was making a killing on spare parts which they didn’t have many of anyway. Apparently their solution was if it broke instead of having the spares available sell them a new one which you knew was going to do exactly the same thing within 6 months.

          The parent company actually stopped making my preferred unit because their production line couldn’t handle the demand so they stopped making them sold off the manufacturing rights to a Spanish company who is still making the things and is selling them without a problem even today 25 years latter. Granted they have been improved over that period of time but they are still the same basic machine with a few goodies added on.

          Col ]:)

        • #3333493


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Sorry…I completely disagree

          If your quota was 50 widgets and you sold 60, when we had our sales meeting and i asked how many you would sell the next month, I would expect you to say 70. Thus you are expected to progress.

          You seem to be taking it a little too literally.
          If you tell me you are going to achieve a certain sales figure, (after all I expect reps to tell ME what they will achieve and I expect it to be a constant improvement or I want to know why not), and you do, then anything else is gravy. I don’t care how long it takes you and no I wouldn’t think any differently if you hit a fair target in one day or two weeks, that’s poor management really, reps will set acceptable figures that include a gradual increase as they improve. If they manage to succeed in reaching an ever increasing and challenging goal then they should be rewarded and not pushed, that’s a HUGE mistake that sends too many sales reps packing.

          They KNOW I expect them to push themselves, but not kill themselves.

          Take automotive for example. When you get a repair, the service manager looks at a book and it has a fixed estimate of time as provided by the Aitomotive Dealers Association. This will tell him exactly what he is allowed to quote for labour. IF the mechanic does a 3 hour job in 2, YOU still pay for 3. The mechanic is not to be seen as anything less than superior in this case.

          In MANY shops, the mechanic will be paid comission based on jobs over and above the alloted time for the day. Ex.

          I have 3 jobs Scheduled, the total time in the book is 7.5 hours.

          I manage to finish them in 5 hours and accept 2.5 hours of additional work, I am then paid comission on the extra work. The shop STILL gets paid for the 7.5 hours originally scheduled PLUS they gained extra time and income.

          But after that initial 5 hours where I have filled a full dance card for the day, I can still go home with pay in most cases.

          Should me employer think less of me for not working the full 7.5 hours even though he was paid for it? He may encourage me to stay for more though, which is done by offering comisison.

          In the case of sales, once a rep hit a predetermined quota, the money increases on his end, THAT is his incentive. Most work for it, othes will ‘pad’ the next month and just sit on deals, while playing games and making the odd follow up call or popping out for a quick close.

          As for poor business practice and your pathetic comparisson to comunist Russia, the company I was specifically talkng about is the largest growing and most successful in it’s field and has been longer than any if its competitors.

        • #3333088


          by mknapp231 ·

          In reply to Sorry…I completely disagree

          that was certainly boring…

        • #3333084


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Sorry…I completely disagree

          I forgot the prerequisite of entertaining everyone.

          My mistake, perhaps try they have a really cool site with lots of fun and entertainment for you.

        • #3334776

          The Russians

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Sorry…I completely disagree

          In ‘The Russians’ book I think it was called, (Cedric Smith or someone, NY Times reporter) they outline that russian plants, after there quota was filled would let people go home then sometimes have another ‘off the record’ shift come in and produce goods the factory manager (and party member so he was immune) would sell for his own gain, with state provided raw materials. Quite fascinating.

        • #3333275

          Something I like to call morale

          by griflet ·

          In reply to If you’re not kidding about this…

          I also work in an environment where we have supplied a single game to about 15 users and we play it on a weekly basis. Every Friday at 4, as long as there are no pressing matters, we load up for a fragfest. It’s something we like to call morale. Everyone in our business looks forward to it, so they haul ass to make sure that they have everything in order. I believe this actually increases productivity, and you don’t have people twiddling the Friday hours away. As for lunch, as long as the lunch is not extended, it isn’t considered company time(not gettin paid for it) so as long as it’s not a disruption, no one cares. A little social engineering will go a long way.

          Oh, and check the size on your whitey-tighties… they’re a size too small;)

        • #3333218

          Work Play

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to If you’re not kidding about this…

          Play is an important aspect of work. Bye giving peopel a chance to play (within reason), you realize a number of benefits:
          1: more efficient and effective work from your employees
          2: higher levels of creativity
          3: more loyal employees
          4: a stronger team ethic
          5: a more positive work environment
          6: better relations with customers

          It is unfortunate that more corporations don’t understand or realize this.

        • #3333177

          Ever hear of “Company Morale”?

          by techanduser ·

          In reply to If you’re not kidding about this…

          I am reading a lot of stuff about how bad the users are. I am one of the techs and a user at most companies I have worked for. The majority of the people use the games for just a quick break during the day. The serious gaming is done after hours. We had a place where we had a gaming night, Friday night at six pm. About half the company (8-10) people joined in for a networked game for a few hours. Overall, this promoted some better working relationships between the people in different departments. And, even though it was on company equipment, didn’t cost the company anything. The boost to morale and productivity was great, and the knowledge that it was set up actually reduced the tendency to play during work hours. When a new manager came in and canceled the gaming, morale tanked. Most people, even those who didn’t play, felt that it was a stupid thing to do.

          The problem is that everyone feels that they have to control everything. Some simple trust in people is a good thing. Afterall, the person using the computer is USUALLY a more expensive asset than the computer itself, something that most IT people overlook.

        • #3334777

          Not a good idea

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to It depends on whether or not the boss is too cheap to buy them

          (to kill your boss that is 🙂

        • #3333363

          Agree with HAL

          by shaggysheld ·

          In reply to The only time I’ve seen Games on Business Computers

          We have removed games from the OS image in XP. Before XP we all had NT and the games were also removed, …. except for one person, the General Manager. He actually had the gaul to ask me where soliatire had gone when we first went to XP, to which I replied it doesn’t come with Business PC’s as a matter of course, and then decided to sidetrack away from the subject.


        • #3333203

          I doubt the issue is how the games got there…

          by stalymi ·

          In reply to The only time I’ve seen Games on Business Computers

          The issue is that all employees need to take a break, period. That is part of the employment laws in most states. Most companies have a room designed for lunch/breaks and that way for audit purposes,people cannot say I was working because I was at my desk. It comes down to direct supervisors making sure that the employee takes the break and gets away from the computer. Yes if you have a 1/2 lunch and you want to play a game after 15 minutes well thats up to the Supervisor in the area not up to IT. I believe that IT comes up with the policies and it is the management over each area’s job to enforce policies.

        • #3332979
          Avatar photo

          Actually I agree

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I doubt the issue is how the games got there…

          That this is not an IT issue but a Corporate Issue. It isn’t up to the IT department to dedicate company policy but to enable it to happen.

          I’m just wondering what type of corporate buying policy was used when these machines where brought. I’m not really interested in anything else.

          Col ]:)

      • #3332483

        You are no fun

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to No games

        I guess you like to treat your employees like naughty little children who cannot be trusted. I understand about prohibiting outside games, for obvious security and licensing reasons, but at least allow the games that come with the MS Windows OS, like Solitaire and Minesweeper. They do no harm to the computer, and help improve employee morale.

        • #3334388

          Solitaire good for you

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to You are no fun

          Teaches the new people how to use a mouse.

          Back when I was teaching, that is one of the things I would tell the students. To play solitaire (on their own time) to get used to the mouse.

          It still drives me nuts the people that insist on double-clicking EVERYTHING and then complain when something opens two or three times all the time. Stupid computer! (yeah, it is the computer that is stupid)

      • #3334282

        go to work to work right

        by bhunsinger ·

        In reply to No games

        I go to work to earn my keep. Yes I have to be productive. I also get breaks. If on my break I want to play solitare get off my back. If I am waiting for reports to review and all my work is caught up. get off my back!
        In sales you want the guy who steadily exceeds quota, but if he does your response will be to shift the target. “great job you exceeded quota by 20%. Now quota is 30% more than last month.
        If you want me to exercise and strech, that is not a break, it is a part of my job.
        My current boss, who is a great guy, hates seeing people playing MS games. His rule is- “take your hour for lunch to do that, not any other time ’cause it makes me crazy” I can live with that. we have only 4 people working here, and there’s updates and papers to study. Ot TR to respond to.
        My dad used to say that he only expected 80% out of any employee over the long haul. When needed though, he demanded and got 110%. then there was slack time.

    • #3347865


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      since the games have always been there, just block them from going onto the network and using networked play with them.

      tell the hr staff that unless hr is going to institute a policy of exercise ( areobics sessions ) pull thier heads out of thier butts and worry about serious health issues.

      some Japanese and Chinese firms have mandatory exercise sessions twice a day.

      personally, for business only systems, I don’t see why games should have been installed at all.
      even on my personal systems I don’t have games, as I have no interest in playing them.
      my business systems naturally don’t have games on them.
      ( my own company, all my systems are set up the same, as I’ll use any for business or personal use. also, me only person with access to my systems.)

    • #3347628

      That’s just funny!

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      The last company I worked for F/T had me setting up network games of Ghost Recon to play for a couple of hours, someimtes at noon (then we’d all go for lunch at one) then in the afternoons on a daunting day. It became almost secondary to work a lot of the time, but hey, the boss wanted to play, I am just a mere employee, what can I say. 😀

      After I moved to the island to do my own thing, he would still call me daily and get me to HOST games on his network so we could allplay GR for a while.

      Hearts and Solitaire was never allowed, we had MUCH better games than that. IN fact when I worked there, we actually did a few PC upgrades (bought BRAND new IBM’s) for better graphics cards and processor speed to oost frame rates and detail.

      It was cool actually because we’d conference speaker phone each other in our respective teams and we could all sit in our respective offices and still talk as if we were side by side. (Who needs game chat?)

      This was a medium sized company, with only two offices but the largest of it’s type in Western Canada.

      Canadians aren’t too worried about many things that seem to inundate the IT mindset in the US. Data security, as long as there’s a backup tape it’s ok. If th ebackup dies, last weeks will get most of the stuff back, that ws their attitude anyway. NO user policies, people could install and download whatever they wanted, if it screwed somethng up, I’d just remove it and ask them to try better to find a less buggy game next time.

      The secrtary used webshots and spent a great deal of time chatting on te internet and downloading stuff, though she was very good at getting work done so it was ignored. Everyone had pretty much free reign of their PC’s.

      Since that time, I have worked with two clients in VERY large organizations who are the same when it comes to te network and people playing games. I find in BC, people aren’t ‘managed’ as much as they are trusted to manage themselves. If the work is done and the numbers rise every month, the boss doesn’t care less what you do. This has been a general mentality I find at ANY place I’ve worked since about age 17. If you put up the numbers, nobody cares how you do it.

      • #3332478

        You make me want to move to BC

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to That’s just funny!

        Despite our differences on political subjects, the way you describe working conditions in British Columbia makes me want to move there and get an IT job at one of these companies you describe. I will even learn to spell like the Canadians, and appreciate your sense of “humour” 🙂 Should not be too hard, I learned how to spell like the English and insert extra “u”s when I lived and worked in England at the University of London for 6 months.

        • #3334387

          Got to learn your “colours” though

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to You make me want to move to BC

          Otherwise you will never be able to get a “good” beer.


          Oh yeah, learn to play darts too.

          (you still play steel tip up their or sissy plastic tip?)

        • #3333383

          no plastic tips here

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Got to learn your “colours” though

          We actually used to have 20′ competitions at my local a few years back. 20′ away, overhand as hard as you can. Bullseyes for shots of Johnny Blue, the bartender would lose ALL the time. 😀

          By midnight we would be planting them in the ceiling beams, it was a 20′ by 10′ danger zone that nobody dared cross while a half dozen of us threw arrows.

          Ahhh, the good dole days! 🙂

        • #3333227

          Canadian, restoring respect

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to no plastic tips here

          This goes a long ways toward restoring confidence that the Candians aren’t so bad after all.

          Beer, taquilla, and steel tip darts. What can possibly go better together?

          Used to throw in the leagues till I jacked up my shoulder working in a shop building pool tables (Valleys), now my bowling and dart days are really limited.

          That is why I had to switch over to shooting leagues. Even someone with a gimped shoulder can do well.

          Question. 20′. In US that means 20 feet. Is that meters? ‘ is feet and ” is inches. What do you use for shorthand? The big metric push in the US has all but died out, so that the government has just in the last few years stopped making us quote jobs in metric for government jobs.

        • #3333147


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Canadian, restoring respect

          m=meters, cm=centimeters

          I was referring to Feet and Inches.

          I am a mechanic and even though a lot of cars use metric, most are still trained to take all measurements in Imperial.

          I only use metric when talking about fluids.

        • #3332974
          Avatar photo

          OZ the one that i really like is

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Distance

          You buy a socket any size in metric and then ask for 1/8″,1/4″,1/2″,3/4″ or 1 inch drive depending on the size of the socket.

          Over here we just have to use metric all the time when possible and really it isn’t much of a problem now that just about all the nuts and bolts are metric but there has never been an attempt to make the drive size for sockets metric.

          A perfect example of this is a socket that every tire shop just has to have in stock a 22 mm with a 3/8 inch drive, these are the only things that can fit into some of the alloy wheels.

          Or Cosworth Engineering a very long time ago we brought 6 3.5 LT DVF motors from them and while the engine size was in metric every dimension was inside was in imperial.

          Col ]:)

        • #3332964

          You’re right

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Distance

          I’ve never actually though about the drive sizes,you take it all for granted after a while I suppose. It’s not like you stare at a socket for a minute and say, it looks like a 3/8″, you just know without conciously thinking about it.

          Gotta remember that next time we are bithcing about Imperial and metric bolts used on the same North American car because it was manufactured with foreign parts from all over the world.

        • #3332977
          Avatar photo

          God I envy you

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Canadian, restoring respect

          Over here we had the Feds raid one of the places that I worked because we imported measuring equipment in Imperial with no metric sub tables. The Feds of course treated the whole thing like a big bad drug raid and came in all heavy handed and the like, I don’t think the guy quite knew what to do when he burst into my office with a M16 aimed in my general direction and my only response was “#### ### ########!”

          But they took all of the imported measuring equipment and the manuals that came with the engines and took us to court for breaching AU Law. Of course the whole thing was thrown out when the Judge just asked why we couldn’t convert to the metric equivalent and we had to explain that we couldn’t get conversations that fine down to {3 microns} in metric but it did tie up some very expensive motors for 3 years and when we could finally use them they where outdated and useless.

          Col ]:)

      • #3333295

        Sounds great, but…

        by burkl44 ·

        In reply to That’s just funny!

        I work for a US company with about 80 workstations and I have to say I’ve never worked for a company nearly as free as the one you’ve described. If we let our employees run rampant we’d face licensing and pc performance issues. Larger companies are more of an auditing target and in my experience, the larger the company the more strict the IT department (but they do have the money to buy expensive toys). 🙂 I’ve spent hours cleaning up pcs because some employees constantly surf the web and download cute little toolbars – not to mention the accumulated adware… and then when they’re pc starts limping it’s the pc’s fault they can’t work (ironic). The Disneyland approach to IT sounds like a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t want to be the poor IT person supporting them. I’d also have to ask how high the bar’s set for reaching their numbers. On the flip side, I think standard Windows games do come in handy when people need a mental break. The problem starts with the people who think they’re entitled to play solitaire all day and get paid for it – but that’s a managerial issue not and IT issue.

      • #3333285

        It’s the BC Bud effect

        by shorne ·

        In reply to That’s just funny!

        Funny post Oz. I suspect that your experience is less of a “Canadian thing” than it is an example of the legendary west coast attitude. Laid back and lovin’ it right?

        • #3333080

          Reply To: games on workstations

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to It’s the BC Bud effect

          Was just talking about that yesterday.

          I had a friend over while I was posting a few replies. Her question was “Are ALL AmericansTHAT uptight about IT and their ‘responibilties’?

          She was amazed that THIS particular topic even made a forum. OF COURSE you can play games at work! I wouldn’t work somewhere if it was tightly regulated myself, talk about ‘stick in bum’ syndrome!

          It’s alomst like emp[loyees there tty and one-up each other on the ‘I’m more important scale’ again psychologically true when considering the traits of the general IT staff member. One time geek and dweeb in school, now given a role that they feel empowers them. I see IT staff as no different than a janitor, receptionist, or any other menial employee ion an office. You can be replaced by thousands in about half an hour.

          THUS, bit of a segue, Canadian employers when compared to US are ‘doing it all wrong’ have no management ability, are too easy on people etc. Not understanding that we don’t have to be POLICIED into ocmpliance, we are given room and freedom and that loyalty and work ethic fals in line naturally. The old treat people like adults and they act like adults theory. It has been proven tie and time again that reduced, “MANAGEMENT” of people actually reduces the NEED to manage people, thus making everyone’s life easier.

          Yes we are MUCh easier going, laid back and accepting than Americans are as a society. This doesn’t mean that everyone is stoned though. That while issues has been taken SO far out of line it isn’t funny. MOST Americans haven’t got a clue what the laws here are, they think it’s a free and legal pot smoking society, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If ANYTHING, Canadian laws have made it more restrictive than before. It used to be that people would smoke whatever they wanted, wherever they were. Now you face fines for doing so.

          So while the IDEA given to many is that Canada is like Amsterdam, it is completely wrong. There are more penalties and laws surrounding drug use now, than BEFORE they were talking about legalizing marijuana. Legalization and decriminalization are two very different things, don’t get mislead into thinking post is LEGAL in Canada, as MOST people seem to think, it isn’t. In fact you face more repercussions now than ten years ago.

        • #3333073

          Well I can’t edit this post

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Reply To: games on workstations

          I can’t fix the missed title nor edit this post, TR is doing it’s weekly page not available thing. It seems they like to take the site down midday for updates.

          Yes, I am pissed off, and yes it is a major inconvenience that I have put up with every week for god knows how long now.

          I can edit th epost but not post the changes, “The page you have requested cannot be found” as it seem to do weekly for an entire afternoon.

    • #3347485

      Thank you for your input

      by tprattbp ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Thank you to everyone that gave their input. It is difficult to truly call the shots when one doesn’t know all the facts. I believe our HR manager is sincere in her concerns & I work for a very generous company (e.g. One of our young truck drivers had two major things happen in his life one month, he got married & found out he had terminal cancer. The owners paid, out of their pockets, his full salary while he was dying, so he & his wife could enjoy some independence. He died about a year later) The biggest problem is working in a state where laws & lawsuit can actually hamper the good intentions of business owners (e.g. a woman at another company won a lawsuit against her employer because she got pregnant in a van in the parking lot. The judgement of the court was “the employer did not regulate recreation properly”) So maybe, the problem isn’t internal but external.

      • #3333024

        Rules set, stated and some flexibility given

        by scott_n ·

        In reply to Thank you for your input

        Ultimately, any equipment/resource used at the office should be for work purposes. It is up to a supervisor to enforce the work place policies. Most would not see a few minutes of ‘misuse’ as a concern for the bottom line or for health. The only time I have had to talk to people is when it HAS affected productivity.

        Employee needs to follow the rules and be aware of the appropriate excercises and work practices.

    • #3332612

      Type of computer determines this

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      For our laptop users, since we anticipate them bored on planes, we allow games. Just the standard one that come with XP. We don’t let the users install their own.

      For workstations that never leave the office, we don’t allow games. They can go to Yahoo for that if they want to…

    • #3332540

      Please remove the games,,,

      by mirrormirror ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Please, please do remove the games. Obviously there are no adults who can actually manage to not abuse the games. What a sad world we are in!!! It is up to us as IT people to make sure that there is no enjoyment at the work place. NONE!! Work, darn you!!! And, let’s talk about those bathroom breaks…you should be working. And breaktime….don’t forget about breaktime…if you are in the company building, you must be productive at all times…obviously if you do not leave the building at breaktime then you are not on break…GET BACK TO WORK!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh….the control.


      Sheesh!! Let me guess, next HR will be wondering why there is so much turnover. What a silly thing to do. If you treat people like children, then they act like children. If the expectation is set to not abuse the games and play then during times when they are supposed to be working, then what is the harm? There are always a few cruddy people who mess it up for the rest of us.

      • #3333346

        Where I used to work …

        by ewriggs9 ·

        In reply to Please remove the games,,,

        the IT dept had put games on the machines to teach the nurses how to use a computer (mouse moves, keyboarding, etc). Then, they expected the nurses not to b**ch when they took the games off the machines. They made the mistake of allowing internet access (instead of just intranet), so in the “back” OR’s, the machines were full of porn and arcade games the OR techs and assistants had downloaded from the internet. Go figure. Then HR put the whole thing on my shoulders as the database administrator – it was MY responsibility to put brakes on the situation.

        I left the Windoze solitaire on the machines, and set up a schedule of checking out the PCs for “contraband” progrqams. I set up some cont ed about viruses and worms and such to (hopefully) scare the employees into not bringing in games on floppies (yeah, right!). Worked with IT to take away the internet access, and to keep the poor little underpowered machines working with the bloated OR Mangagment program we were using. Fired an employee caught with a personal floppy on one of the machines (it had games on it). I was a real martinet. Had to be. At the end of every day, it was “Calgon! Take me Away!” I was a wreck by the time I left there. I later heard that my successor allowed the whole thing to go back to where it was before I got there. Go figure.

        I found out early that if employees want the games and the porn and the internet access, if there is any backdoor whatsoever, they will find it. They may not be IT professionals, but they are fearless when pushing the limits on someone else’s computers! If employees want games, they’ll bring ’em from home and play ’em on floppies or CDs or DVDs, no matter what you do – unless you can disable all the external drives. We couldn’t because of that particular software program’s needs.

        Tell HR to stuff a sock in it and ignore the problem as long as it isn’t out of hand. Otherwise you will be like a gerbil in an exercise wheel – furiously active but getting nowhere.

    • #3332482


      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      By any chance, is your HR director a cat that wears glasses, who thinks it is fun to find new evil ways to make life miserable for the employees?

    • #3332445

      Speaking of Games: Anyone Play WoW?

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      That’s World of Warcraft (WoW) in case you wonder. I’ve shared many times on this board that I’m a gamer..on the off chance any of you also play this phenominal game that for once is actually worthy of the hype. Let me know via a peer email.

    • #3334263

      A good manager

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      As the average U.S. work week of 49 hours stretches to equal that of the dark ages at the turn of the last century, almost all of us spend more of our waking hours in the workplace than in any other single location. For all practical purposes this is where we live.

      It stands to reason that this place must be regarded as home. We need comfort, decoration, entertainment, and pets. Decades of experimentation have proven consistently that every one of those things reduces stress, boosts morale, and thereby increases both output and quality.

      Ever notice how the Theory X managers who somehow have still managed to retain control of this country never talk about the quality of work, or even its quantity, but only the amount of time devoted to it?

      Every year the U.S. comes more to resemble the old Soviet Bloc. I remember the workers’ credo over there: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

      Taking away my toys isn’t the same thing as getting me to do better work.

    • #3334248

      Get Back To Work

      by chilli_willie ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Systems owned by a company are to be used by company employees for company sanctioned activities. As the IT Manager you need to lock systems down. If people around (or above) you feel that they can treat the systems like they are their own systems then you may end up finding personal software installed.

      I would lock them down if i were you, assert authority of your network. Make sure the “higher ups” know you are taking the iniative to protect the employees and the companies systems. Do you really think they are only playing games on their Lunch Breaks?

      • #3334180


        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to Get Back To Work

        Years ago…..there was one clown who installed a swimsuit edition calendar & had a harasement suit filed against him.

        It wasn’t long before we had management buying into AUP’s and locked down systems. Very few have internet access & those that do are clearly told it’s monitored closely.

        Machine/Device names don’t have anything to do with users either – They’re named according to “function” only.

      • #3333214

        You can have it both ways…

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to Get Back To Work

        Why all the “Nazi” like replies to this. We are talking about lunch breaks right? If the folks are on their lunch breaks what possible harm could it do for them to play a game, so long as the system is properly locked down and monitored?

        Sure hold employees accountable, do you not run web usage reports to see where folks are surfing? Do you not lock down your end users from installing software? Guys this stuff is “Admin 101” common sense stuff.

        As for any argument of either what if they play games outside of their lunch break or go over their lunch break: 1) Is your company a business of mature adults or is it a pre-school? 2) You can trust your employees to handle sensitive or proprietary company data in the course of their jobs but you don’t trust them to follow the “rules” with regards to computer useage and their lunch breaks? and 3) If they foul out, you take disciplinary action against that employee — don’t punish the many for the one. If they really abuse the rule…fire them.

        I don’t see the problem here — as long as the systems are locked down and the employees are aware of policy regarding lunch time usage.

        • #3333053

          Management Decisions

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to You can have it both ways…

          I like this approach……….it keeps the systems clean & people understand it’s a business tool.

          While it’s true that most adults behave like adults………rules are made for the 5% of the adult population that break them.

          While your response is absolutely 100% accurate there are some responses (here) that represent the 5% and it’s attitudes that (at least our) Management is addressing 🙂

      • #3333048

        Were you a hall monitor in school?

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Get Back To Work

        This attitude of treating employees as unruly children sounds like those who became hall monitors in school so they can wield power and lord it over others just for their own egos. Yes, protect the network, but why remove the games, like solitaire, that are installed with Windows operating systems? Why restrict internet access other than the obvious which could get the company in trouble (porn, gambling, etc.)?

    • #3334130

      You can’t tell people what to do with their lunch hour

      by av . ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Your company has some really strict policies. No personal email, no internet use, no games.

      I manage a small network of 50 users. We allow minimal personal email and internet use. People know that all activity is logged and monitored and for the most part they keep it down to a minimum (except for one or two).

      I find it hard to believe that your HR person is interested in employee’s health. I would think they are more interested in productivity. Aren’t there government guidelines that say every hour, a person who does data entry should get up and walk away from their computer at least for a couple of minutes?

      We had the same dilemma with computer games. My HR person told me to remove all of the games, even solitaire, from the computers because some people were doing that instead of working. We don’t have a specific lunch hour time, so it was hard to tell if people were goofing off or on lunch. Other people that saw them playing games thought it was ok to play games if they saw someone else doing it at a time that might not be considered a lunch hour to them.

      In the end, except for one or two people who never go out for lunch, people don’t play games. They still use the phone, the internet or email. I think you have to allow something for morale as long as its kept to a minimum.

      • #3333243

        A more enlightened approach

        by r woell ·

        In reply to You can’t tell people what to do with their lunch hour

        Some companies have realized that people will use the computer for personal activities regardless of the stated policy of using computer for work related only tasks. (I would say it is my company but since I am not an official company spokesman I can’t do that.) That being said, these companies have stated a policy that allows personal use including internet use for a limited period of time each day, in one case I know of, to 30 minutes. It is expected that this work will be done on break time. A list of the type of acceptable internet sites has been published and includes news, education, religion, sports, shopping, job search and most other inoffensive sites. Prohibitted are adult sites, hate and racist sites, weapons related sites and the like.

        They have said they can and will monitor this usage. They will trap attempted access to prohibited or questionable sites. They also realize that people will accidently hit these sites and as long as it is not repeated, all is fine.

        This is a much more realistic view of how people behave at work. Where I work I really don’t see a policy like this being abused that much any more. When surfing the net was new, it was abused just like game playing was in the early days of PC. The novelity of it has worn off. Yes, you will still have some people who abuse it but if they didn’t have a computer at their desk, they would be the ones standing around the water cooler much of the day. Then there are those who are on the phone a lot, but not doing company business. Or they are the ones who wander the building every morning in search of the department who has donuts.

        You will always have some people who don’t always work as you would like them to. A majority of the people will. How you separate them out and deal with them is another matter.

        Now to the original comment of employee health. We have a “walkers club”. People walk during noon and at other times when they need a break. Some walk instead of having coffee or taking a smoke break. You may see the same people walking two or three times during the day. People are recognized for various milestones and it has added to the social fabric of the workplace.

        It was a simple thing to do, cost nothing and wasn’t an HR or IS police state policy. It has been well received.

    • #3334125

      Consider their mental health

      by cmpadm23 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      If the users are really doing data entry all day
      and choosing to play games on the computer in
      their spare time, they have probably already
      decided that it is too inconvenient to engage in
      physical exercise and that what they really need
      is mental exercise. If it doesn’t interfere with
      their work and doesn’t present a risk to the
      equipment, data, or programs, let them play. If
      you need to control it, you could remove the
      games from the workstations and set up a remote
      control (i.e VNC) linux game server that
      disables the games during working hours. Just
      don’t wind up spending all of your time being a
      games administrator.

    • #3334124

      Most companys

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Are running with a much-depleted staff. If they want to surf the web or play games, and what they do will not hurt the company or the network let them! There is vary little employee retention incentives any more and if they like to play a game to relax on thier own time or look up a good movie let them. People need to blow off steam and if they can not do it on thier own they will blow up on others. And hey game improve hand eye use;)

    • #3334106

      Forced excercise programs and other draconian measures..

      by collins_rf ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I would like to see how the HR’s philosophies in the past have worked at restricting off the clock behavior have affected performance, morale, culture and other factors of the business. I have heard of scheduled excercise programs and other team and co-worker relationship building and fortification programs in the past. The stories usually begin with the activity, the intended increases in beneficial effects and then some reels of the activities in progress, ie.. the utopia of wallyworld. But seldom have I seen such stories or examples carried out to their ends in an objective manner, the fallout, potential cultural ostrisization of dissenting workers or the promised increases in productivity morale, blah, blah, blah…

      What of the “smokers rights” issues for instance if management designates the entire facility a non-smoking area where HR then issues restrictive break policies. I have seen examples where entities have been sued over this last example. Yes I am a smoker but no, I prefer to keep it away from non-smokers.

      Having been in charge of crews in the past, I have kept a working attitude on the clock, but have taken a crew out for a dinner or for a few brewski’s during a conference, and not the bk lounge or golden arches cafe either. If my crew kicks a.. on the job then I kick twice as much a.. at making them feel appreciated for the work and dedication.

      • #3333361

        Company policy

        by marius.muralis ·

        In reply to Forced excercise programs and other draconian measures..

        Company PC’s are property of company.And the company hardware has to be employed only for business needs.Everything has to be based on company internal policy to allow or not to allow play games. If this is prohibited, use windows group policies to restrict access to games or simply uninstall games from PC’s and thats it.In properly organized windows security user are not able to install their software (games) on workstations. If it’s allowed, let them play.
        Look at this problem very simply.
        My personal opinion – workers can play games only at home, not at the working place.

    • #3333367

      My Life for Ire!

      by munezrhep ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      This may sound strange to you. But in our university we are allowed to play MS games anytime. We even have PC games installed (Start Craft, Counter Strike, and the likes). You know when teachers get tired of preparing for class we usually play network games. And still we are able to do our work. What I observed is that we lack research and other things which teachers should concentrate on. And I believe that these games may have to do with it.

      • #3333322

        Everything in moderation…

        by dave ·

        In reply to My Life for Ire!

        I’m a programmer – when I’m not at a client’s site, I’m grinding out code in my windowless private office. I think if I had games like you mention, my productivity would fall through the floor. However, it is common practice for me to surf the web during large loads and compiles, or when I’m just plain stuck. There is something about programming, and I think this is common, that it becomes counterproductive for me to grind at it all day. I am actually more productive if I take small breaks fairly frequently than if I just try to grind out code all the time. When I’m hot and heavy on a thorny problem, I don’t have any trouble concentrating and sticking with it, but 90% of non-development programming is tedious and repetative, and breaks actually help me stay more focused. Likewise, I find having talk radio playing (I stream it on my Internet connection, no RF reception to speak of in my office) helps me to do the tedious parts of the the job without getting bored or bogged down. When the work demands more complete concentration, I shut it down.

        I think that taking the approach that employees can’t do anything all day that isn’t making money is a wrong view in the long run. What it promotes eventually is mind-numbed zombies who produce lip-service to productivity and never quite live up to their potential. Instead, you have to look at whether the job is adequately being accomplished. Incompetance and laziness exst, and must be dealt with. SOme distractions are bad, and likewise must be managed. But if a person is getting their job done as expected and needed to maintain the overall bottom line, I wouldn’t be fussed over a few games of solitaire in the course of their day. It’s all a matter of whether they are overdoing it. But my view is that strict, whip-cracking, and oppressive atmospheres cut productivity rather than boost it.

    • #3333360

      Why are games even installed?

      by graeme ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      on a business workstation?

      Even default Windows Games. Though the original Minesweeper was actually included to train people to single and double click and the original Solitaire was to teach drag and drop – I think we know how to do that now….. 🙂

    • #3333358

      No Games

      by mitch ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I have 500 plus workstat5ions and we have a policy of no games.

      • #3332901
        Avatar photo

        And when the workstations where setup

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to No Games

        Where the Games Installed?

        That is my point here why where the games installed in the first place or not un-installed before the units went to work?

        What I think it is here is a business being a cheap skate and someone in HR trying to throw their weight around to look far more important than they actually are.

        The end user never misses what they never had and will all be up in arms if you start removing things from each workstation but if they where not installed in the first place this would be a non-issue!

        Col ]:)

    • #3333350

      Shoud you (I.T.) be the cop of the Company?

      by dmouzakis ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      As far the health risk is concerned, I wonder if they were banging their heads with the keyboards, would she come to you again? (because a keyboard is computer equipment).

      As far as the wrong message is concerned, I strongly believe that policies are to be set and followed by people, not machinery.

      best regards


    • #3333347

      Working hours

      by cactus0 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      In the UK, Friday 25 February has been declared Work Your Proper Hours Day.

      Workers are being urged to send managers a “bossagram” pointing out they are doing unpaid overtime. The idea is to mark this Friday’s Work Your Proper Hours Day, being held to highlight the UK’s long hours culture.

      The Trades Union Congress claims that five million people regularly do unpaid overtime, giving employers ?23bn of free work each year.

      The union has calculated people doing unpaid overtime are in effect working for nothing until February 25.

      More info:

    • #3333343

      who are Human Resources people?

      by cm_fields ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      where do they come from? what makes them choose such a field of employment? what do they do when they go home? who marries these people? do they breed? can they? what are the rules for Human Resouces people to propigate? must they mate with other Human Resources people? who are Human Resources people?

      • #3333309

        HR people are evil cats

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to who are Human Resources people?

        If you read Dilbert, you will know that HR people are evil cats that wear glasses and think of employees as their toys. They purr when thinking of new evil plots to torment their cat toys, I mean, employees, or resources, as they also call them as part of their evil plans. I liked it better when it was the Personnel Department instead of HR, and I was an employee, not a resource. We are people, not ****ing resources!!!!

      • #3333301

        who are IT people?

        by cmugrad ·

        In reply to who are Human Resources people?

        I was in HR for over 20 years, both as staff and management – we come from the same place you come from and we choose our field of employment for the same reasons you do – most of us are just as educated as you are and no, we don’t have to mate with other HR people. At the time I chose to enter into the HR field (after college), I did it because I enjoyed people and enjoyed trying to make their work life easier and more enjoyable. I knew every employee and everything about them. I knew when and why they were sick and checked on them, I dealt with the spouses when employees passed away, I knew when the employees spouses had cancer and were dying and made sure that they were taken care of. The problem that has happened with the HR departments now is that the Government along with the million privacy/protesters groups have made it next to near impossible to talk, help, socialize, hire, fire, etc. etc. without getting some lawsuit or fine against you. It’s not a people job anymore and it’s just not fun anymore! It’s not easy anymore being in an HR Department as it is not the way it was years ago.

        I left the field of HR (to “retire” with my non-HR husband), however am now running a very successful auxilliary equipment business with him. I, myself, wouldn’t take another HR job if they paid me a million buck a year! And by the way, we have the same problems here with internet and e-mail abuse – it’s only a select few, but it does ruin it for all. Just don’t have the game playing problem here, just internet abuse. I have to handle that situation and since we are small, I guess you can say I am the IT and the HR person handling the abuse problem. What a combination, huh?

        • #3333251


          by burkl44 ·

          In reply to who are IT people?

          I hear ya…having worked in a clinical risk management dept before going into IT I’ve seen the ridiculous things people pull. It’s all a game of “beating Big Brother” or “the man” until the company gets sued and people get laid off because the company can no longer afford to keep them. Then who does everyone blame for the layoffs?? The company. Since judges seem to frequently award frivilous lawsuits (I blame them more than anyone else), HR is between a rock and a hard place. If someone doesn’t sit properly when they work, it’s the chair’s fault and the company’s fault for buying the chair and not telling them how to sit in it properly. Not a single person in this country is held accountable for not having basic common sense. It’s not HR people who shouldn’t procreate, but these “dumb like a fox” people who work the system with dreams of early retirement and their 64″ TV (paid for by the company). Instead calling out HR and IT for being tightwads, people should take a good look at the people who sue to get rich and the judges who let them do it.

    • #3333339

      Increased health risk?

      by andeanderson ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Unless the company actually has a Fitness Program instituted and available for employees to use during lunch then I don’t understand the “increasing health risk” concern.

      I do the same thing. When I only get a 30 minute lunch break I just eat at the desk and play a game to break up the intensity and monotony of my work.

      If I’m on hold, which is pretty common today, I’ll play a game while I’m waiting.

      HR needs to calm down and leave the workers alone. These games can also increase a persons familiarity with the computer which can increase productivity.

      I went through a similar situation and was instructed to remove all games from all workstations. That lasted about 2 hours and I was instructed to put the games back on the computers.

      • #3332897
        Avatar photo

        Actually I’ve found the problem gets

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Increased health risk?

        Better attention if you start with the boss and work your way down. Before you get anywhere near the real units you are called back in and told to reinstall everything you have removed. 😉

        Col ]:)

    • #3333336

      Just the Tip of the Iceberg

      by trsnell ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      As an IT rep., you should not worry about the posture, health, etc., or HR, but about the concept that games are ok on company PCs. This sets a bad tone. We leave the basic games on the PCs but people actively playing on break or lunch is the wrong thing, visually. Who’s to say they’re on lunch or break unless your office goes by bells and whistles? Just time before other games creep in.

      • #3333316

        Upset about Windows games?!?

        by cp7212 ·

        In reply to Just the Tip of the Iceberg

        Geez, tell HR if they want real problems, try letting them on the Internet. Using the games on Windows on breaks, I wish my problems were that minor. Thanks for the chuckle. You should have saved this one for Friday.

    • #3333335

      Games, what Games?

      by dvldawg3082 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      We have about 2500 employed and only a a 1/3 or better have Network access, I was asked shortly after got in the Dept to find out how to get rid of those pesky games. Microsoft tell you to go to ADD/REMOVE programs and add/remove Windows components. However there is a little more to it than just that. There is an inf file in the root driectory of Windows 2000 and some XP versions that have that option hid.

      That location being C:\WINDOWS or WINNT depending on which operating system you are using C:\WINDOWS\inf\sysoc.inf. You have to do some editing to that file. As gruff as it may sound you not paid to play games but to do a job. My experience with HR is they play enough without having PC games to keep them occupied. Play games at home. We have fun our dept from competitiveness to other means and other properties in our corp. gives us enough challange without wasting time playing on the PC. That is what you have Playstations and XBOX’s at home for.

    • #3333333

      Typical Anal Response by HR

      by jevans2 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      What ever happened to the phrase that “our Employees are our most important asset!” HR typically hasn’t a clue and assumes employees are time stealing grunts (their police tactics disquised as a health concern).

      The real “fear” is that someone may play when they should work. As long as the play is confined to the employee’s lunch period let it be. Would you prevent them from exercising, playing cards or other diversions during their own time because they mmight become fatigued and thereby reduce their productivity when they return to their workstation? Get a life! Be concerned with the important things.

      • #3333262

        I agree with you!

        by summersond ·

        In reply to Typical Anal Response by HR

        At our company, MS games are left on the pc’s. So far, the company assumes most of us are adults and will utilize most of our time wisely. With that kind of attitude, we don’t have the abuse that you might if those “extra activities” were policed and banned. I liken it to smoking and drinking. When it is banned, people will find a way around it. When it is allowed, it is no big deal, although some will abuse it. Our employee morale is good because we arent being treated like kids, and we are left up to our good judgement. We also have content blocking in place for the internet to stop that kind of surfing activity.

    • #3333332

      Games on Workstations

      by itengineerguy ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I found if I use Group Policies to restrict games. This is not enough. It only stops them from accessing traditionally. Smart users can go to the command line and run the executable. So not installing games at all is the best method.
      Sounds like HR is missing the picture on this one concerning health. Duh!!

      • #3333319

        To game or not to game…

        by alysonh ·

        In reply to Games on Workstations

        I’ve read the thread and I find it kind of scarey…. To so many admins, their view of their users is that they run with scissors, don’t play well with others and would probably eat all of the library paste…not to mention colouring outside of the lines.

        It has been MY experience that people tend to live up, or down, to your expectations. Give them a chance to feel like they are getting away with something and they are dang sure going to take it. That’s what has made the Mafia so great in this country.

        I run a small network of about 50+ users. I have a firewall that blocks “improper” sites and reports who has tried to access one. I RARELY have to slap anyone’s wrist regarding usage…and those are usually the new folks that are testing the boundaries. I have left the MS games on the computers and, again, rarely have issues with them being used outside of breaks.

        It is my contention that by assuming that EVERY user on your network is a bad person out to break things, or slack, or cheat the company, you are disallowing them the dignity of assuming that they are an adult. You are also disallowing them the responsibility of making their own decisions.

        My final contention is that if you have an employee that is so disenfranchised as to spend their entire day playing card games on the computer, the problem lies not in what they have access to but in something MUCH deeper than that.

        Yes, people come to work to work…but they often are doing it for 10 to 16 hours a day. If allowing them a few minutes of NOT working helps them “keep their nose to the grindstone” the rest of the time, I fail to see the harm in that.

    • #3333320

      put a gaming/personal use only computer in lounge

      by cgbullock ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      We have placed workstations in lounges in our offices so that employees can have full access to computers durning non work hours. We have also removed games in work areas so that people must leave their stations in order to do non-work

    • #3333318

      No Games on Company Machines

      by xandar ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      We have over 800 workstaions at our campus. Our policy is No Games on any company owned asset. It’s more of a productivity issue more thaan any thing else. We encourage employee’s to go out for lunch or use one of the multiple break rooms throughout our campus just to break up thier day. Since this policy has been in place we have seen an increase in productivity and better overall morale.

    • #3333268

      le bon vieux temps

      by nholsh ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Ah, for the good old days (le bon vieux temps – cajun for those of you effete french snobs) when HR consisted of clerks and a supervisor and wouldn’t dare interject themselves into corporate policy. If they had stepped into that area, they would have been told in not too gentle terms to mend their own knitting.

    • #3333265

      Harmless Benifits

      by laserbrian ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I think it depends a lot on the culture of the organization. Some are more open than others.

      Currenty we allow the Windows Games during appropriate time. Most of the users (production work) are not a computer all day long. During a break, some choose to smoke and eat. Some like to play cards.

      I would rather have them play the games than look around for something else on the computer. This could be tipped off trying to find the games that are turned off.

      Nobody is going to hack the system / network when the next guy is waiting to play card games.

      For now it stays.

    • #3333264

      Scariest thing

      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      about some of the post on this thread is the glee with which some people have talked about locking down ‘their’ system. ‘we pay you so we own you’ ‘ play games at home etc.’ We are the Borg and you will be assimilated’ AAARRGGHHH!
      I am a human being. If I work real hard to get my assignments done, I need to rest later. I work better in spurts.
      Some prople are sprinters, some run marathons. Each job has it’s own requirements and if you require people to work in a cookie cutter fashion, you get cookie cutter results. If thats what you want, fine.
      I have a life. If youwant me to think about your work on my time-cellphone etc., then my life bleeds into yours.
      Rules are one thing, attitdes are another. Funny how the lock it down lockset approach to “increase productivity” is followed by extra work that becomes part of the job description, dissapearing bonuses, shrinking commisions. etc. My personal favorite was when as system engineer it was slow, I was asked why I wan’t making cold calls, out of the phone book, to drum up business. No training, no list to tools, just do something.

    • #3333259

      Game night?

      by paymeister ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      How ’bout this: kill off the games-during-lunchtime, but let the employees chip in for a network license for Doom (or Quake or whatever is fun on a network), and host a game night once a week, after hours. The network is not being used at that time, and they would probably love it!

      And I agree that HR has too much time on its hands. I doubt that the health risk is the real reason behind the comment – most RSI shows up long after the employee has left the company, if your turnover in Data Entry is anything like what we have here.

      • #3333225

        Small Company Rituals

        by cq_west ·

        In reply to Game night?

        It’s great to be a part of a small company. Once a month we get together and either play a game over the internet (Halo usually) or go to someone’s house, order pizza and rent a few games from the local video store to play on XBox or Playstation 2. It’s a great way to get to know co-workers outside of the day-to-day monotony of work.

    • #3333252

      Games on Workstations

      by charliec ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I too am the network admin for a small network and our company policy allows the playing of games at workstation as a way to relieve stress and take a break from a busy day. We have found it to be good therapy. Our HR manager has no problem with this practice and agrees that employees need some way to relieve stress and they should be able to do it in a way they enjoy.

    • #3333236

      HR & Health concerns

      by pwhistler ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I wonder if HR are so crazy on health when it comes to organising eye-tests for their data entry staff, latest ergonomic seating, ensuring adequate breaks at the appropriate times etc..
      Provided the manager of the data entry section is happy that production is not being effected then play on..

    • #3333219


      by luis_a_delgado ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Unfortunately, we have some fascist mentalities running rampant and we had to implement GPO’s to disallow playing built in games. Scriptlogic can also be used to lock down the machines.
      Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with playing during lunch time, but HR always find the bad in things.

    • #3333211

      Easy Solution

      by awfernald ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Get the latest version of DOOM and install it on about a dozen PCs, then invite the HR staff to your daily tournament 🙂

    • #3333205


      by kegraham ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      All computers on the network should be setup identical as far as games go unless a conflict exists with software for that department. I personally prefer to leave games on the workstations. We have found that employees need a temporary break at times during the day when they get to a point where they are having a problem with whatever they are working on. Backing off and playing a game for a few minutes is sometimes better than walking to the breakroom or bathroom. It takes their mind off the problem for a few minutes while they concentrate on the game. Many times when they return to what they were working on, the error is easy to find, they correct or fix it, and continue on with their work. This said, company policy on computer use should be understood by all. Not all companies have only experts using computers. We have individuals whose primary job is not setting at a computer all day, but they are now required to do tasks on the computer. Many had little or no computer experience when we installed workstations for them to use. We found that being able to play a simple and easy game on the computer helped relieve their fears of damaging the computer and encouraged them to develop their computer skills thus becoming a more productive employee as it required much less time to complete their tasks on the computer. Some of these employees have gone from not even knowing how to turn on a computer to developing excellent computer skills and enhancing their value to the company tremendously. Their comments almost always are that the games on the computer allowed them to relax, find out that any little mistake would not break the computer, and learn to use the mouse, keyboard, and different programs.

    • #3333197

      IT impact only

      by mary.hoerr ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I’m sole IT (admin, support, development) for a small company with about 35 computers (more computers than people). I don’t have time for policing, or enforcing work habits, and wouldn’t do it even if I did. My policies are based only on the impact usage has on maintaining the machines.

      My policy: no one installs their own software, games or otherwise. They can (and should) update flash over the internet. I don’t install games, but I leave the MS games on the computer (I don’t bother to change the default installation).

      I don’t lock down the machines in any way. Everyone has admin rights. I found simple troubleshooting or changes took much longer when I had to log them off, log on as admin, make the changes, and then log on as the user again to verify it worked (which it didn’t always).

      Everyone has internet access, because everyone needs it. It is assumed that a certain amount of surfing will be for personal purposes. Again, as long as it doesn’t impact my support time, I don’t care.

      How do I keep people from installing stuff, and getting loads of spyware on their computers? I also have a policy that if I have too much trouble with a computer, I will wipe it and restore from the image. I’ve had to do this twice in about three years, and neither time from abuses of internet priveleges, or because of installation of software.

      In the very rare cases where people have abused their games or internet priveleges, HR and management have considered it an employee issue, not a computer issue.

    • #3333192

      Just install Fortres

      by 5esquinas ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      To avoid the problems using programs that some areas are not supposed to use, you can install Fortres 101, and control who has access to what, even you can group users and have different program access profiles.Go to and download a trial version

    • #3333190

      Let the games stay

      by blackcurrant ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      My personal opinion is that if HR are concerned about the amount of exercise their staff undertake during each working day, they should not take a round-a-bout route and place the onus on the IT department to do something about it.

      If HR are concerned, they should create a policy that forces those doing the data entry to take a break at regular intervals. If any of my users is set the task of data entry I tell them they should take a break at regular intervals – this break comprises walking round the building and having a quick chat with co-workers. Not only is the user ‘healthier’ they are also less likely to make mistakes during data entry.

      As to games – many of the staff at my workplace play solitaire or minesweeper during their coffee/lunch breaks. Games are fun! And these people often take regular excercise, such as swimming/football/gym after work.

      Maybe the HR representative can volunteer to run fitness classes during each lunchbreak…

    • #3333185

      Pre-package Games Only

      by stevemissa ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Our organization’s policy is that no games are loaded on any PC, period. With one exception…the pre-packaged games that come with Windows (i.e. Solitaire, Free Cell, etc) are left on the PCs. Then we leave it to the department head to judge weather this is problematic to their staff’s productivity. They reserve the right to have IT remove the games from the PCs. So I would suggest a similar approach.

    • #3333174

      If you’re concerned

      by blarman ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Give them other options. I know engineers where I work who play various card games on breaks. Others go walking on a track around the office.

      If you’re HR person is concerned, have them publish an HR notice saying that they are concerned and that, while they will allow people to do what they want, here are some other options available.

      At one company, there was even a short calisthenics period (just some stretching) for 10 minutes.

      But enforcing system policies on something as small as this is overkill.

    • #3333170

      Games on workstations

      by frantz11368 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      All too often some employees enjoy staying at their desk during lunch time. The employee might elect to either read a book, study or play a built-in game ( Solitaire, etc… ). Unless it is written in the employee manual of company’s policies no Manager of any department should be asked to address health issues or the likes with their employees. The Human Resources department is responsible for setting up standards and policies for the company. The IT Manager, in conjunction with Top Management sets up policies in regards to the use of the computers and the IT services of the company.

    • #3333142

      Health risks?

      by theantimike ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I remember the first time I looked at the bottom of a keyboard and saw a sticker warning the serious health problems would result from prolonged use.
      We have become a nation of sniveling cry-babys! Our ancestors who pioneered this nation must be rolling in their graves.
      Maybe someone should take this “human resource” person out behind the wood shed and demonstrate what a real health risk is!

    • #3333092

      Restricting workplace usage.

      by lastin ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I tend to lock all workstations down completely, including games.

      If game playing is required – place a couple of computers in the staff room that are specifically for game play. This means that staff leave their assigned work area and make a choice on their private time to play games.

    • #3333085

      “increasing health risk”????

      by pioneering ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Please explain what you mean by “increasing health risk”.

    • #3333016

      HR using IT to Manipulate

      by dmiles ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      1)What specific health issues are at risk?

      2)Did HR conduct a study or how did they come to their conclusion?

      The health issues they are eluding to may have been caused by the constant use of the computer screen and typing on keyboard in order to perform their job.

      The HR person is most likely trying to be creative for job security or to head off the posibility of any injury that company will have to be responsible for.Some one has planted a seed and they are running with the idea that it is harmful,try selling HR person some land in the Florida everglades and if they bite,you can rest you study at that point.

    • #3332903

      Think about what she meant…

      by yanipen ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Maybe she is just concerned about stress related work. Even all the things considered, the ergonomics, the working environment, etc. Stress will always be present.

      When I was in a collosall project back then, we enforced desktops policies, maybe like the one that you are imposing right now. HR found out that such things benifited the company in more ways than one, but did not help in any sort of way of releiving stress in the work place. Therefore, they found out that people get less efficient, even their bosses.

      When I came to where I am now, in this company I am working, I also enforced desktop policies. But made a careful study first among the users. This might raise some eyebrowse again, but I allowed those games that came with the windows package. No more, no less.

      Users need to relax a bit from time to time. I have come to learn that. But the thing is, people relax in their own way. Some sleep during lunch break, some play table tennis, and some play solitaire, or one of those games that comes with windows. I even caught a few managers watch video cd’s at lunch break. After the break, they are very much alive, active, and efficient.

      So now, what I have done? Consider that facts. You can enforce policies without sacrifing your users. After all, both users and policies are equally important to the company.

      Oh, I think you know what I mean.

    • #3332848

      HR makes no regs for computer users…

      by ole88 ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      In my organization, HR has nothing to do with the computer use policy – just IT. The way we handle the games is like this: If the manager does not want their subordinates to have the games, we restrict their use. The way I see it, it is a good stress reliever and gives employees a chance to reset a bit during the day. If it is excessive (again it’s up to their manager/supervisor) then the games are restricted, otherwise we leave them alone. For new computer users (those who have little to no experience) the games serve as a way to learn the use of the mouse and interface – sometimes even the keyboard.

    • #3332732

      Typical HR activity

      by dbertsche ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      This is so typical of Human Resoures people. They always want to “butt in” where they don’t belong. Instead of taking care of things that have a real impact on the employees they push goofy stuff like this.

      Post a freaking sign that excessive time at a keyboard may be detrimental and let it go. If they still want to engage in the games they’ve been warned then the HR person can do something more meaningful instead of acting like the gestapo!

    • #3333967

      Only what comes with Windows

      by pmoleski ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      We leave them there because taking them out takes work and we want to minimize the effort in installing and maintaining workstations. Keeping each operating systems as close to the original as possible reduces effort.

      The bigger question of games is part of the larger topic of appropriate use of company assets. Our employees are expected to treat the computer like a telephone. How much personal business is allowed with any company asset can be laid out in the Human Resources Policy standards in your business.

      I don’t see harm in having these few games on the systems as long as people work when they should be working and play on their own time. If a person can’t live within a few communicated guidelines they are not the type of employee to keep. All the above said if you have an otherwise good employee who gets hooked on games then it may be worth the effort to ensure they have no games at work. They may even thank you for helping them out.

      Employee fitness is also part of a larger discussion of which games are a very small part. There are other ways of dealing with it, such as fitness breaks, if a company is concerned.

      • #3331396

        Very Reasonable

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Only what comes with Windows

        This sounds like the way to go. No harm in keeping Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc. that comes with Microsoft Windows, and these minor diversions could help improve employee morale. And as others have noted, they help less technically adept users learn how to use the mouse. And the Pinball game that comes with Microsoft Windows is also a fun way to kill 5 minutes during a break. Why expend effort removing something that does no harm?

        You hear about people bashing Microsoft all the time, but maybe they should be given credit for their Solitaire game. I have not heard of any bugs in it, and it has worked in basically the same format since the early days of Windows, with only minor cosmetic changes (more deck patterns available, for example).

    • #3334934

      Using technology to solve personnel issues

      by server queen ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I hate when HR, or management in general, tries to use technology to solve personnel issues. If people aren’t getting their work done, that needs to be addressed by a manager, not by adding more complexity to the network admins’ jobs. If managers don’t like having to do that, they probably don’t belong in management.

      I feel the same way about filters, policies, etc. Sure, some basic ones make sense, but you CAN’T solve all “unauthorized access” issues with technology – some of it has to be done by actual managers who actually know what their employees need to accomplish in a given workweek. People who don’t want to work WILL find ways to kill time, no matter how many fancy-pants filters and policies you clutter your network up with. And people who want to get up and move around will do so, without the computer prompting them to.

      • #3330263

        Spend more time on real Issues

        by secureit ·

        In reply to Using technology to solve personnel issues

        I agree that it’s not IT’s responsiblity to monitor the end users activity’s, but if you think it’s a problem add a statment to your AUP, you do have a AUP? Games are not a security threat and if it’s only the stupid little games that’s bundled with Windows, who cares.

        • #3330171


          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Spend more time on real Issues

          We have policies but we call them Internet and Computer Use policy here. What is an AUP?

        • #3331545


          by secureit ·

          In reply to AUP?

          AUP is Acceptable Use Policy, you may call it Computer Use Policy, it’s a policy outlining the acceptable use of computer equipment and is kept in the HR Policy and Procedures manual. Here’s an excellent website for more info.

        • #3352076

          Locked down workstations, but IE is free

          by gunnar klevedal ·

          In reply to AUP?

          If you have a couple of spare minutes, so why not?
          It’s not worse than talking trivia, or reading the paper.

          But our workstations are locked. Our end users can install nothing that requires a DLL or a change to the registry. Makes remote support feasible.

          Tribute goes to Steve Wozniak, hardware legend

    • #3350041

      Business use only

      by cybergoyle ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      Every company is different, but I found the only way to effectively deal with this situation is to establish a ‘business use only’ policy. Games (even built in WinGames) in the workplace waste productivity at best, and can become disputive to your business at worst. Same goes for casual internet surfing.

      In my experience, users will take a ‘if its not blocked or banned, then it must be OK’ approach to their corporate desktops. They also feel that their workstations are extensions of their own personal property. For example, I’ve heard ‘why can’t I play online games at Yahoo, its no different than the built in internet games….’. If you try to pick and choose what is ‘OK’ and what is not, it won’t be long before all your users resent you for ‘playing computer god’ (or any number of other descriptions I’ve been called).

      Business use only is relatively simple to define; if a website or application has no relevance to your business, it is off limits. In addition to technological restrictions, you MUST have a clearly written policy on this. Our company includes this policy in its employee handbook, which all hires are required to sign off on at time of hiring.

      Just one IT guys approach to this issue…..

    • #3184885

      Use of logic and common sense

      by brownle ·

      In reply to games on workstations

      I start with requirements and mission. The computer is there to be used by the employees to accomplish the organization’s business goals in an efficient manner. If you are going to allow personal use, it can’t conflict with business requirements. Acceptable times might be before or after work and during any authorized breaks during the day. If email is authorized, I would want them to use web based email not the organizations email system and if I did allow use of organization’s email, I would enforce a strict rule about length of retention and amount of storage space used, I would not allow emails with exe files attached even if you have a no install rule! As for using the workstations to surf the internet, I am mixed. The easiest solution is to only allow internet access for pure business reasons. However, there is a lot of information out there that might be found by an employee that could actually help the business. Unfortunately, if we assume that employees will only use it on their own time, we still have the problems of accessing inappropriate sites and security risks. Whatever the decision is, it has to be written clearly and distributed to all affected employees. Lastly, the games. As a network administrator or a end user PC support specialist, the primary problems with games are wasted storage space and system downtime because of configuration and compatibility problems. Generally, those aren’t issues with the games that already come with the operating system. I have used the games to help users get comfortable and become proficient at using a mouse. The games can also relieve stress. If you decide to allow personal use of the computers, company policy has to be real clear what is allowed and when it may be done. It should also state what kind of actions can be taken if the individual is caught breaking the rules. If you are going to monitor the system to ensure compliance, make sure the policy highlights the fact that it is being monitored.

      Hopefully what I have said is logical and makes good common sense!

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