Should we ban the Olympics?

Watching the Olympics at work is obviously a terrible thing, and you'd never catch us doing it. Ahem.

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2013

OK, so one or two of us may have tuned into Christine Ohuruogu’s glorious 400m triumph on the BBC website this afternoon. But hey – it’s the Olympics, right? And not only that, it’s also the most successful Olympics for Team GB in living memory, with 16 golds and counting – and as of today, not just in nice middle-class sports that you can do sitting down. Surely you’d need a heart of stone to object?

Nonetheless, we couldn’t help a quick glance over the shoulder today when we received an email from online security business ScanSafe, warning companies about how much time their feckless employees were wasting following our red, white and blue heroes. ScanSafe, which offers security services over the internet, reckons that employees are now apparently spending 16 minutes a day each on Olympic-related sites, eight times more than we were at the start of last week. And that was before we won four more gold medals today...

This is all very well, says ScanSafe, but it could be taking its toll on your company’s bandwidth – and that might make it harder for you to do business. As ScanSafe’s resident sourpuss Spencer Parker points out: ‘If companies do not have sufficient bandwidth then a number of problems can occur including business interruption and a slowdown in performance to critical business LAN applications as well as serious cost implications.’ (See, he’s so irate that he doesn’t even have time to breathe)

The answer, according to ScanSafe, is to limit the amount of stuff that your staff can access during the course of the Games. As well as reviewing your acceptable usage policies, it’s also offering a nuclear solution: its technology allows you to block streaming media specifically, as opposed to websites in general (so your employees can still look at the news even if the Olympics are off limits).

We are of course dedicated advocates of greater productivity in the UK workplace. But it’s August, there’s nothing much else going on, and we haven’t won this many gold medals since the time we deliberately included a bunch of sports that nobody else had ever heard of (the 1908 London Olympics, which included tug-of-war, amongst others).

Plus you don’t know how staff might react if you cut the connection just as Phillips Idowu is starting his run-up. Better to be safe than sorry, right...?

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Should we ban the Olympics? 

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