Office networks are so slow that many of us are ready to throttle the IT manager, and there doesn't seem to be an immediate fix in sight, a survey has shown.
A recent survey by systems integrator Dimension Data suggests that many of us are resigned to the office network running like a three-legged donkey stuck in quicksand.
The study, sponsored by network management vendor Blue Coast Systems, surveyed 957 IT users about their major pain points when working on corporate networks, and sub-par performance romped it in at the top of the whinge list.
Email performance problems alone could waste up to 25 minutes a month, the survey found.
OK, so that's only equivalent to a single episode of My Name Is Earl, but in today's frantic workplace environment that kind of nuisance value adds up.
65% of Australian users surveyed reported that network problems reported to IT were fixed "eventually", an even sloppier number than the 50% global average.
On reflection, this situation might be a subtle ploy by IT overlords to block access to "time-wasting" applications like Facebook, while maintaining that their companies are open to the benefits of social networking and not trying to scare off potential attitude-heavy Gen Y employees. After all, it's hard to sneak in a quick couple of moves in Pack Rat or Wordscraper if the game takes an hour to load.
But apart from going in hard at the IT manager with a crowbar or becoming the resident office complainer, are there any other potential solutions? One sneaky possibility is to set yourself up with a dirt-cheap 3G modem (say Three's $15 a month 1GB mobile broadband bundle) and bypass the company network altogether. No speed restrictions when you've got urgent tasks, no Facebook blockage, no problems. Sure, this might be a massive compromise of company security and a sackable offence, but if the internal network is running at the speed of a constipated camel, there's obviously much bigger problems that will have to be addressed first. (Hint: time for the IT manager to stop staring at his navel and fight for some money from management to install a better network.)
If your IT manager is canny about locking down USB ports, your choices are more limited. If you're not ready to quit your job, you can adapt the previous strategy and surf the net unfettered on your own laptop -- or if that's not allowed -- iPhone or BlackBerry. If anyone asks what you're doing, say you're having to work on your own device to lodge a support ticket because the internal network is so shite.