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2 min read

Is March Madness Slowing Your Business Down?

It’s that time of year again – the annual NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship known as March Madness began March 14, 2017. College basketball fans will be filling out their brackets, watching games online, researching their teams, tracking game updates, and much more.

While it’s an exciting time for fans, business owners may not be as excited about the potential effects it could have on their business. 

March Madness's Potential Impact on Your Business

According to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an estimated 2.5 million workers will spend time on March Madness-related activities.

Many March Madness activities are accessed through the Internet, so not only will this affect employee productivity, but it could also cause a major slowdown in your Internet speed and cause the performance of the ENTIRE OFFICE to diminish.  

Major Cause of Slow Internet: Streaming Content Online

Streaming content online is one of the biggest offenders for bandwidth usage.

Imagine you’re going uphill on a highway. A truck carrying an oversized load is in front of you. You and everyone else on the road are going to suffer because you can only go as fast as the truck. That’s what can happen if even one person in your office live-streams a game, listens to music, or watches a video online.

What You Can Do to Prevent a Productivity & Internet Slowdown

IT systems can be set up to prioritize certain types of Internet usage so this slowdown does not occur for all activity types. For example, if your business uses IP phones, you can set up your system so voice is given priority. This way, you won’t have a crackly phone connection if someone starts to watch a webinar.

You can also block certain types of online activities from going through your network - whether someone's trying to access it on their phone over the office Wi-Fi or through their desk computer. Or, if it's okay with you that employees watch the highlights on their lunch, then you can set it up to allow access at certain times of the day.

This doesn't stop people from using their cellular connection to check scores or stream the games live, but if they do it that way, at least it doesn't slow down everyone else.

IT Processes to Keep Productivity Up All Year Round

There are many IT management processes that can help increase worker productivity all year round.

It’s nearly impossible to police every activity your employees do online, but implementing an Internet filtering solution is a one way to control what they can and cannot do when they’re using your company’s Internet connection.

These solutions also offer Internet usage reporting, which will give you a high-level look at your bandwidth consumption, how much time is being spent on non-business related web activities, what sites employees are visiting, and your exposure to online threats. 

If your office relies on cloud-based applications, managing your company’s Internet usage should be even more of a priority. 

ANYTHING that affects your employees’ ability to work in an efficient manner can be costly, whether it’s due to Internet slowness, downtime, or other technical issues. If you’re concerned about your company’s information technology and want to look for ways to better manage it, give us a call to discuss your options.

Related: Millennials in the Workforce Have Different Expectations

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