The big question: Should staff be allowed to watch the World Cup at work?

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

Should staff be allowed to watch the World Cup at work?

98% Yes

2% No

The BBC is broadcasting all its World Cup games live on broadband. The video streaming service is aimed at office workers wanting to keep up with the latest action from Germany.

Network managers have expressed concern at the amount of bandwidth being taken up on company networks by recreational use, sometimes at the expense of business critical applications.

The almost unanimous verdict of the IT professionals was that organisations should let staff watch the World Cup matches – but not necessarily at their desks.

The World Cup “should be made available but ideally with a TV screen in a meeting room, away from staff desks, and avoiding individuals downloading the matches,” said Eric Smith at Gale Open Systems.

Many respondents said the best way to handle the World Cup was to accept that staff will watch it and set about making it a good experience for everyone.

“There may be a loss to business and employee time but what price do you place on goodwill and loyalty?” asked one IT consultant.

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