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How to convince users to use their computers only for business related work

By creative8008 ·
I always get impressed when i receive a help request from a user that said : " My computer is very slow, i need to wait 5 minutes to open any application"

Although he has a P4 computer with 60GB HDD and 512MB of RAM, it looks like there is somthing serious happing, checking viurs monitoring log on the server, checking updates, every thing works fine , but finally you go to the user look at his computer then be happy or get made you fined thousands of MP3s songs, handrads of Moives and quit few games mostly not more than 10 - 15, and finally up to 13 -15 startup programs such as chatting programs, messengers, picture views, calenders !!! Now can any one tell me How to convince users to use their computers only for business related work specially if those users in upper managment levels ?

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re spelling

by Kiltie In reply to coffee breaks, etc.

May I quote you "Absolutely"....

vvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv
"Since you "beleave that controling such employees to keep them in-line", I judge from the spelling that English is not your first language...."
End Quote

Hmmmmm, best not to flame, doesn't achieve anything really..... all I would comment is that English seems not to be your first language either.

re the coffee breaks, as an employee of a very large UK Civil Service department, I worked straight through them...... my "extra time" was a few hours before anyone arrived for work, and some hours afterwards.
I was still working, but with batch processing (at that time Windows didn't exist) and there was a 30 minute wait between submitting a job to the mainframe system and getting results back

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there are ways and means

by Oook! In reply to coffee breaks, etc.

..of giving some leeway, and yet protecting everything. Most employees like to check email / travel / banking during their 'break' time. Where I work, is a 30 minute limit per day of surfing to most sites (not including chat etc) with special permission for other limited sites. It seems to work pretty well - they check their own stuff quickly - first thing in the morning & at lunchtime usually - but don't complain as they are allowed to do the things they need.

As for spelling... whilst I was typing this on my tiny little laptop, I mis-spelled loads! I had to go back & re-read it!

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Most likely to go postal

by raelayne In reply to policing or working

Lots of great ideas and some hare-brained ones.

I think there's no perfect solution here; there are competing values that cannot be resolved.

Too much restriction and regulation breeds employee discontent.

Too little regulation breeds support costs that are astronomical, and fosters poor performance.

IT wants RULES and ENFORCEMENT and PUNISHMENT because the support folks get really sick of dealing with the problem. User WANT FREEDOM -- do just get their jobs done, or in unfortunate situations, to just screw around and "have fun." Whether you're willing to put up with the baby behavior is, of course, a matter of how desperate you are to hang on to the employee -- I'm never that desperate myself.

The computing resources belong to the company, and the company has the right to dictate how those resources will be used. Where did "I can do anything I want with corporate assets" come from?

If you work someplace where you have a "right" to a break every couple of hours and a lunch hour (those jobs still exist?), then you have the right to the break, not to do whatever you want with company equipment during the break.

As a manager, I try to balance the different concerns; I try not to get in the way of people doing their jobs, but I draw the line at the illegal, at copyright violations, etc. I don't think anyone in my department believes he or she has a "right" to do whatever he or she wants, and I expect employees to exercise judgment. I let them know when they've gone too far, so there is an ongoing series of course corrections going on. Yes, it's annoying, but it beats the Nazi approach.

It is sometimes amazing to me what employees think they're entitled to. One fellow called his broker once every 7 minutes for an entire month, something that showed up in phone logs I received at month end. He thought he had the right to do this, and told me that if he had to leave to use a pay phone he'd lose even more more work time. He's gone, of course, and lost his shirt in the derivatives market, which was gratifying. So I can relate to people's frustration, and their desire to become the Network Nazi.

But we should beware of a solution that's worse than the problem. In my department, people do their banking, send personal messages, etc. while they're at work. They exchange jokes. They print things for their kids' school projects. But the time they spend on this kind of stuff is very limited. It's just a matter of being professional.

In short, I really think the Nazi approach is over-kill for most work environments. A set of policies, enforced when things that shouldn't happen do, and continual education works best.

Get executive buy-in by showing them the dollars. Come up with a reasonable set of policies (buy them -- that way you can make the "industry standard" argument, deflecting the charge that you are a control freak). Enforce them reasonably, when you need to. Enforce the serious ones more vigorously -- downloading music not paid for, or installing copies of software without a license, etc., should be prevented. Stay cool about the minor stuff.

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by lseikkula In reply to Policies

Except it never seems to apply to users. Or, they don't think it does! I had one fellow complain that he had ebay set up as his home page and it keeps switching to our company's web page every time he rebooted! I kept telling him our standard image was to bring up OUR company's web page, he argued and argued with me. I finally just gave up!

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Without policy, give up

by ungle In reply to Policies

If you can't get policy, walk away.

However, policy are powerful tools, not that you will necessarily always enforce them but in situations like this you have the tools necessary to deal with the problem. Again, you are not IT police, but well publicised IT usage policy will allow you to say 'I'm sorry, but installing these applications violate the company usage policy. I'll have to rebuild your machine'. You don't use these policies to run around slapping hands and uninstalling apps. They're there for the situation you've described - or to stop users installing spyware.

But...without senior management buy-in, policies are...not!

So how do you get policies in place? Best approach is during the SLA negotiations. At this point you take the SLAs to the management and tell them 'The SLAs look great, I'd like to meet them, but to do so we need to establish usage rules'. You'll probably need to explain why it's important :-)

Once you've got senior management buy in, the abusive users have lost, you have won!

Good luck

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Get Some Help

by SendBux In reply to Policies

Probably would be better to get someone else to "write . . . some usage policies".

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Partitions, purge and system images....

by Beoweolf In reply to Policies

First you need a company policy, written, discussed and enforced. You will need backup from your manager and his mangager to make things stick.

Then take a system image of what is authorised on each machine, it helps if you do it by department or workgroup. Nothing personal should be on the "C", system drive...if it has nothing to do with business, PC system operations, networking, etc. then lock it down.

setup a token partition for user descrestion, set a quota thru system or group policy that allows "x" disc space for misc.

The hard one: When the system is running slow, has problems or is infected....just format the "C" drive and reinstall the image. Anything else is up to the user.

If you wish to be kind, then set up space on the file server and allocate space for users to upload anything that is important, pertains to their job...and maintain backups from there. Again, anything on the local disk is subject to being deleted.

A bit draconian, but it works.

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re: Partitions, purge and system images....

by macghee In reply to Partitions, purge and sys ...

that's not draconian. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled where I'm at, but I thought that constituted "Best Practices" as well as due dilligence.

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Ghost is your friend

by timw In reply to Partitions, purge and sys ...

We are now in the happy situation where 95% of our desktops are a standard configuration. We've written policies on how databases should operate (storing temporary files in a named folder, etc) and users run with normal User rights.

We provide C:\TEMP where people can put files if they want, but anything in that folder will not be backed up if we have to re-image the PC.

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by Avinesan In reply to Policies

This is true however policies are just but a mechanism to curb this problem. I've done my Research on "email in the workplace" and found that by taking preventive measures like monitoring application usage, installing cameras, restricting access to applications and explaining - NOW THIS IS A BIG ONE - the productivity that is lost in terms of man hours lost which directly equates to large sums of money. On the same token if all these measures are taken and if staff is aware of whose responsible for this - you'll be able to sense the hostility.

Remember what ever the descision, take note of its ramification.

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