If you clicked over to this article after spending 20 minutes watching cat videos on YouTube, you’re not alone.
Watching online videos is a nasty habit that has spread to the workplace, sapping productivity and draining bandwidth in the process. According to a survey from online video platform Qumu, 43% of workers — 53% of men and 34% of women — admit to watching some online video at work. News videos were most popular, followed by company videos and videos shared on social networks.
Half of Americans like to waste time at work by watching online videos, and that can be a problem for employers, who need to worry about time wasted as well as all the bandwidth streaming video uses.
All that video watching is a problem for employers, who not only need to worry about their employees wasting time on YouTube but also need to worry about all the bandwidth streaming video uses. According to Qumu, the average 90-second video is about 700 times larger than the average email, which means all those videos can slow things down for the rest of the company.
And while many people will use their own mobile devices to watch videos without getting caught (or to get around network restrictions), they often don’t realize that using said device on your company’s wireless network (as opposed to your own 3G wireless connection) is just as much of drain on bandwidth.
Speaking of mobile devices, they’ve emerged as a great way to sneak a look at video or conduct online tasks that you’d rather stay private. Survey respondents guessed that their fellow employees were doing everything from sneaking off to the bathroom to pretending to tie their shoes in an attempt to get a glimpse of some precious video and nearly half of employees suspect that their coworkers were using mobile devices to watch pornography at work. In actuality, only 3% of respondents admit to watching pornography at work; we suspect the actual number is somewhere in between, since one Nielsen study found that about one-third of American workers have surfed for porn using their office computers.
Here are the most popular types of videos to watch at work, along with the percentage of workers who admitted watching them during office hours.
News clips: 25%
Company videos: 17%
Viral videos: 15%
Videos posted on social networking sites: 12%
Sports events or clips: 11%
TV shows: 9%
Full-length feature films: 4%
Other videos: 3%