Looks like there won't be any more clowning around at Procter & Gamble.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the mega manufacturing company has blocked employee access to the music-streaming website Pandora and the video-streaming site Netflix in an effort to keep its workers focused and save itself some precious bandwidth.
“It’s a worldwide phenomenon,” P&G spokesman Paul Fox told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “As P&G drives toward end-to-end digitization of our business, ensuring bandwidth capacity within our networks is a high priority.” (Fox isn't kidding about how serious P&G's digital shift is. The company cut 5,700 jobs this past February, reports Business Insider.)
And given that employees were using company computers to listen to 4,000 hours of music on Pandora and download more than 50,000 YouTube videos daily, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Procter & Gamble has finally decided to start blocking some sites. However, YouTube and Facebook are off the hook because the company uses those sites for marketing and communication. In addition, Ad Age reports that sites like Spotify, Hulu, and Vudu are still available to P&G employees.
Many large companies have moved to save bandwidth and up productivity by clamping down on employees' web habits and blocking popular leisure sites. Technology staffing and recruiting firm Modis, for example, has restricted Netflix, YouTube and Pandora at its own offices and is currently dealing with bandwidth problems experienced by some of its customers.
"Clients say they keep adding servers and still don't have enough [bandwidth]," Modis President Jack Cullen told USA Today. "People leave Pandora open and don't even think about it."
In addition to the usual bandwidth problems that come with YouTube, Pandora, and Netflix, some companies also have to deal with increased bandwidth use during sports events like the World Cup or March Madness.
According to a survey released by Modis this past March, increased video streaming during the NCAA Men's Division I basketball championship greatly slows connection speeds and, in 34 percent of cases, causes the network to crash. In addition, more than two-thirds of the 500 IT staffers surveyed responded that they take steps to "either lessen or block the streaming of non-work content" during the tournament.
Are you allowed to access sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Pandora while you're at work? Let us know in the comments! And make sure to flip through the slideshow below to check out which top websites were most commonly blocked by businesses in 2010.