The Rugby World Cup will maul corporate IT systems and cost British businesses more than £461m in lost productivity, it was claimed today.
As the England team launches its campaign to defend the title, research from content security vendor Marshal estimates that 10 per cent of employed Brits will spend 30 minutes each working day watching matches or browsing for updates.
If one in 10 of the UK's 29 million employed people with an average wage of £14.42 an hour spends 30 minutes a day catching up on the Rugby for the 22 working days that it is played, the result will be more than 31 million hours of lost productivity, the study states.
IT service will also be compromised as staff download videos and interactive scoreboards, eating up valuable bandwidth and opening the organisation to potentially malicious content.
"Following England's victory in 2003, Rugby is now firmly placed as one of the nation's favourite sports which means that the six weeks of the World Cup coverage looks set to dominate our screens," said Michael Clifford, EMEA vice president at Marshal.
"Employers need to set and enforce policies on the acceptable use of the internet. Companies can control productivity and bandwidth consumption issues by implementing policies that limit internet access to certain sites to lunch time, and before and after working hours."
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