Please, say it isn't so. The Wall Street Journal ran a story today about the evils of watching online video clips at work, the entirety of which can be found here. If you don't want to read the story, since The Journal can be a little dry and you have far more entertaining blogs to read, I'll extract and sum up the not-so-surprising information in the story: Watching videos online sucks away office productivity. A startling amount of employees are doing it. And most of all, it's those damn interns.
The gist is this: Employees that were monitored have been found to watch up to an hour's worth of videos online per day, particularly between the lunch hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. This is a problem for companies not only because nobody is doing their work as the watch hamsters dance on YouTube (or far more stomach-turning videos that my mind doesn't care to revisit) but it also slows web traffic, especially for small companies that have less bandwidth to work with. One company found that its interns were watching videos on blogs and networking sites (ha!) because, you know, it just HAD to come back to the younger, more tech-saavy generation.
Oh, workplace. First you came for the instant messaging. Then you come for the streaming music. Now this. When will you learn that if your employees want to procrastinate, they will use every trick up their sleeve to figure out how? We understand it irks you that it sometimes takes more energy and resourcefulness to find procrastination means that it does to do the work in front of us. Like I am doing right now. But you work your employees hard, and this is their way of telling you they don't have that workhorse capacity. At heart, they are slackers, they just hide it by putting on a suit and showing up before 9 a.m. They need a mental break sometimes. Nobody takes mental health days in this city, and in Europe they factor in entire mental health VACATIONS. Can you imagine that? Vacation without a Blackberry? Give the masses their YouTube. It's what gets them through the day so that their eyes don't lose vision scanning rows and rows of senseless numbers.