Productivity and Olympic watching don't mix, survey says

With the Summer Olympics going on, many employees are finding it difficult to concentrate on anything else.

Finding it difficult to balance keeping up with the Olympics and just getting your job done lately? If so, you're not alone.

A new survey from Dell subsidiary SonicWall, which specializes in developing advanced network security and data protection solutions, attempted to determine the potential impact on corporate networks and productivity as Americans tune in to the 2012 London Olympics.

Even though many of the spotlight events such as the women's team gymnastics finals and any race involving Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte is pushed off until primetime, NBC does broadcast coverage every day during normal work hours and there are live feeds available online. Furthermore, if you don't want to wait until primetime to find out who won the race, there are plenty of spoilers available online at any time.

Thus, it's easy to see why Dell SonicWall researchers found that more than half (63 percent) of businesses surveyed are concerned about negative impact of performance on corporate networks.

Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

  • 75 percent believe that their employees will be watching streaming coverage of the events mostly on company devices on the company network.
  • 48 percent expect employees to watch on their personal devices connected to the corporate network.
  • 50 percent are concerned about lost employee productivity during the Games.
  • 56 percent think their employees could potentially introduce threats to the network by viewing online streams or accessing results.
  • 55 percent will attempt to limit access to online streams or other websites during work hours.
  • 56 percent have a policy that will limit or ban viewing of the games by the employees during work hours.
  • 85 percent think a next generation firewall could provide the necessary network protection and bandwidth management tools to reduce threats that could be associated with following the games online.

Basically, Dell SonicWall researchers conclude that while the Olympic Games is one of the world’s biggest and best pageants, it also represents a productivity challenge of olympic proportions to businesses unprepared for the onslaught to their networks.


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