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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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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.

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Windows

by Choppit In reply to HR is usually useless whe ...

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

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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.

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HR are Idiots.

by tmeedel In reply to HR is usually useless whe ...

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.

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by TechJock In reply to HR are Idiots.

I couldn't agree more.

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Webshots

by garyq 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.

GaryQ

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Webshots

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 **** 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.

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Ergonomics

by Ole88 In reply to HR is usually useless whe ...

I found the information for stretches and setting up ergonomic workstations at UCSD. The link is http://blink.ucsd.edu/Blink/External/Topics/Policy/0,1162,4817,FF.html?delivery=&coming_from=. There is a good bit of information contained here and you could put your own program together to help.

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Most Company Don't

by Logos-Systems In reply to HR is usually useless whe ...

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.

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Stretch Break is the software we use.

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: http://www.paratec.com/ - good luck!

Leslie

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