8e6 Technologies Cautions of Employee Online News Obsession

Mar 21, 2003

8e6 Technologies has issued a warning to companies that the war with Iraq may lead to a workplace productivity slowdown as employees turn to news on the Internet. The company calls attention to a number of new subscription services offering live and archived video on the Internet. Last week ABC News launched a service called "ABC News Live," which is focused on breaking news and live events. Yahoo introduced its online video service "Yahoo Platinum" earlier this week. CNN also has a subscription service called "CNN NewsPass." Online news sites have grown substantially over the past year. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, visitors to Internet news sites grew more than 20% over the past year, from 67.5 million in January of 2002 to 82 million this past January. This can cause a problem for companies trying to keep their employees focused on their work. The beginning of war will likely increase employee's inclination to focus on constant news updates. However, as 8e6 points out, all news is not created equal in the potential effect on company resources. They suggest that companies implement an 'Acceptable Use Policy' and that management monitor the behavior of employees.