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A question about R&D job in big companies?

  1. Jan 31, 2014 #1
    Hi guys,

    I wonder in the R&D department of companies like Google, IBM, Sony, ... Do they allow their employees to use the internet when working?

    Some people argue that: because of the confidential requirements, these companies often prohibit internet in their R&D department. However, I think doing so will also greatly reduce the working performance, because it goes without saying that the internet is a very good source of information.

    Please shed some light on this problem for me. Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2014 #2

    StatGuy2000

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    Different companies have different policies regarding Internet use while at work, whether within the R&D department or elsewhere. In many companies (including a few I've worked with) Internet use is allowed but certain sites that are deemed to have "inappropriate content" (e.g. pornographic websites) are blocked or filtered.

    In addition, in one pharmaceutical company I used to work with, personal e-mail accounts like Gmail or Hotmail are blocked over the Internet for confidentiality requirements. This may be unique to the pharma sector given the sensitive nature of the information that is handled, but other companies may do the same.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  4. Jan 31, 2014 #3
    I'll second StatGuy. Usually some things are blocked, but it is less common for all internet use to be prohibited. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it is more rare. One of my buddies who works in a big aerospace company jokes that he can't work when Google is down.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2014 #4

    analogdesign

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    I work in R&D and the internet is probably the single most important tool I have. I have access to virtually all the literature in my field ever published plus untold number of academic sites that I can use to get information I need for my work.

    Professionals typically don't waste their time too much goofing off on the internet (besides a break now and then). R&D staff are evaluated based on their productivity so if you aren't a self-starter you won't last long.
     
  6. Jan 31, 2014 #5

    AlephZero

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    It would be a reasonable assumption that all your internet access through the company computing network is being logged by the company, even if the logs are not "actively" monitored. That should be enough to deter stupidity (though that isn't always the case).

    If you have a company email address, it's hard to make a good case for using private emails for work-related activities (which is what the company is paying you for, after all) - and all the company's email traffic will be logged, of course.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2014 #6
    Agreed. However, I am talking about using the internet to support the R&D job itself. There are times when you need to search for the information your job demands, and the internet is the best and fastest source for most of those information. My opinion is, the companies should find another way to guarantee the confidential requirements, rather than completely blocking the internet.
     
  8. Feb 1, 2014 #7

    D H

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    Your opinion is based on a false premise. I can't imagine an R&D-based organization blocking the internet nowadays. Yes, they might have some computers that aren't connected. There are secrets and proprietary information that need to be protected. All of the organizations that I know of that do have restricted access machines also have fully connected machines from which one has full blown internet access, oftentimes better than what I get at home. I have unrestricted access to an immense number of journal articles at work, for example. At home I'd have to pay $25 apiece or so to see the same articles.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2014 #8

    analogdesign

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    I agree with DH. This is a non-issue. In my experience I have seen a single (ONE) organization that blocked individual access to the internet but they did have a dedicated internet terminal in the group to do literature searches and the like.
     
  10. Feb 1, 2014 #9

    D H

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    I can't go to some sites at work. Accessing sites that would make the company look very bad such as porn sites and maybe Facebook are blocked.

    PhysicsForums: Not blocked. Google: Not blocked. I can look for restaurants to make plans for dinner, pay bills. I can check whether my favorite sports team just won the game I was dying to watch but can't because I'm instead stuck at work at 9PM helping put finishing touches on a proposal. People do conduct personal business while at work; it's counterproductive to completely ban this.
     
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