To Block or Not To Block: Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?

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The IT department often does double duty as the company internet policing agency. If you are an IT professional that’s in charge of monitoring or securing your company’s network, it’s a strong probability that you’ve had executive level conversations about blocking employee’s usage of certain websites.

Does Blocking Websites Actually Boost Productivity?

According to a new report from Spiceworks, the answer is “YES!”

In organizations that place no restrictions on web activity, some 58 percent of employees spend at least four hours per week on websites unrelated to their job. That’s the equivalent of 26 workdays per year. But in organizations that block access to social media, only 30 percent of employees spend at least four hours per week on such websites.

What Websites are Being Blocked

Of those companies that blocked certain websites from their corporate networks, here’s the breakdown of what they blocked:

  • 85 percent banned illegal and unethical sites
  • 61 percent blocked dating sites
  • 38 percent shut off social media
  • 34 percent personal instant messaging
  • 26 percent video/music streaming

Productivity Gains on Website Blocking

About 96 percent of large businesses restrict access to at least one website; compared to 81 percent of small businesses. Large businesses’ ban on websites translated into greater productivity gains—some 28 percent of employees at these companies spent more than four hours a week on “non-work” websites. By contrast, around 51 percent of employees at small businesses spent more than four hours a week on such sites.

Pursuing the Most Productive Workplace

If you are a business owner or leader, this data provides you the leverage to have policy discussions with your CIO or CISO and leadership team. A company policy to block certain websites will involve additional oversight from your technology leadership and will be an ongoing management of new URLs to evaluate and block. But, when considering the productivity gains it may be worth the time investment.

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Information technology discussions and corporate policies are part of the role of your technology leadership team. If it’s time for your company to expand its IT department to incorporate IT leadership such as a CIO, CISO or CTO, start by reaching out to the professional IT recruiters at ASK Staffing. Contact us today!

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