Hawaii Blocking State Workers From Streaming Video Services To Prevent On-The-Job Binge-Watching

Listen, we’re not here to judge you over how many hours you spent locked in a dark, air-conditioned room this weekend in front of a TV emitting a constant stream of entertainment. But once it comes time to go to work, the binge must end. Hawaii is taking steps to make it difficult for state workers to spend too much time on Netflix and Hulu, blocking those services so employees don’t waste time watching Cheers/Doctor Who/Friends from start to finish.

Binge watching is a real problem in Hawaii, where state workers spent between 100 and 300 hours watching Netflix in a single week, according to the Office of Information Management and Technology, reported Hawaii News Now.

That’s enough Netflix viewing to equal an estimated two to nine full-time employees doing nothing but watching streaming content for the full 40-hour work week.

Because watching Netflix isn’t working, the state has blocked access to Netflix and Hulu on its work computers. Free streaming sites like YouTube and others that are used for public relations, training and educational purposes will still be allowed.

“Now it’s perfectly reasonable that they might use YouTube. The state uploads its own videos to YouTube. Some of these other services, maybe,” said Hawaii Information Serve communications director Ryan Ozawa. “But when you are looking at Netflix, you’re looking at Hulu, these are primarily entertainment services.”

The state’s Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy announced the move in a memo to state department heads, the governor and legislative leaders.

“In order to preserve sufficient online access for state business, we will be immediately blocking video streaming services,” he wrote.

Of course, this isn’t anything new for private companies, as many employers have blocks in place to keep workers from accessing sites that aren’t essential to the job. Unless your job happens to be watching Netflix movies, in which case you’d better hope you have access to that site.

State employees watch 100 to 300 hours of Netflix at work a week [Hawaii News Now]

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