Have you noticed recently that things are taking far longer than usual to load at work?  Are file downloads taking forever?  Before you call your internet service provider and sign up for that bandwidth upgrade they’ve been offering, you might want to take a look around your office and see if anyone seems more glued to their monitors than normal.

Every year, March Madness leads to a massive spike in internet video streaming.  And because those streams automatically adjust their quality based on the available bandwidth, just a few people streaming a game can quickly saturate your entire internet connection.  If you rely on internet connectivity to stay productive, which almost all companies do today, those employees can unwittingly slow productivity to a crawl.  Video streaming can also affect phone call quality and reliability if you are using a Voice-Over-IP phone system.

If you have a firewall, it’s easy enough to block the major sports streaming sites outright.  But some companies don’t want to forbid following a favorite sports team as long as employees are being reasonable about focusing on their jobs.  In these cases, there’s a way to allow streaming without allowing it to slow other internet-based work to a crawl.

By prioritizing work-related applications over video streaming, you can allow streaming while avoiding network disruption.  If you have hardware that supports Quality of Service rules, make sure to use those to your advantage.  However, it’s wise to avoid basic web throttling if you rely on any cloud applications, as this will have the unintended consequence of slowing down company work just as much as sports streaming.

Finally, the easiest way to deal with the problem is simply to educate employees.  The next time you expect a major news or sports event to lead to heavy video streaming, remind your employees that video streaming has an impact on your network.  It might encourage people to visit the breakroom, and view it on TV, where it was meant to be viewed in the first place!

Do you want to learn more about how to leverage technology to improve your company’s efficiency and productivity?  Call WingSwept at 919.779.0954 or contact us online and ask about our Managed Services offering.