Gmail is one of my most reliable friends, my best co-worker, my savior from Hotmail… Gmail goes where I go. In the early days I made the mistake of trusting my ISP. I had an email with Videotron. It worked fine until I switched over to Rogers and lost my email subscriptions, ability to retrieve passwords, and even receive emails from my friends. What did I expect when I switched ISP, for them to forward my mail once I stopped paying them? Yeah right, I canceled my service! Why would they care I was moving for University and had no choice but to switch? Why would they help make the move easy and help me stay in touch with my friends? I went through the same thing again when I switched to Sympatico.
I looked to Hotmail for help. It couldn’t do what Outlook could do. Finally, along came Gmail and all my problems were solved. Gmail set me free from greedy ISP’s, set me free to check my email anywhere. Now work wants me to abandon that and return to the mistakes of my past. They want me to use my work email, an email that will change every time I change job. That sucks, but fine. I’m reasonable, I’ll use it for work. But why block Gmail? Wasn’t I hired based on my experience? I’ve worked on a lot of projects, I can access a lot of experience through Gmail. A quick search can bring up many messages containing solutions or links to valuable resources or source code. Gmail is more than a mail service, it’s a tool, it’s my personal assistant.
How is Gmail a Tool?
I’m a developer. As a hobby, I develop software and games and then share them on Looble. I’ve also contributed plugins and modules to many open source projects like WordPress and Joomla. I learn a lot working with free open source software and tools. I subscribe to many forums where I can find answers to problems. I subscribe to mailing lists which keep me up-to-date with new trends, new technology, new tools. I email myself ideas, links, and other information that I could never remember if I relied on my memory. I can find this information in seconds using Gmail’s powerful search. I can organize thoughts and ideas using labels. I can instantly message a contact using Google Talk and they are usually happy to help me or direct me to a solution, for free.
Gmail a powerful tool because it helps me connect with information I have personally identified as being relevant, important and accurate.
Blocking Gmail Kills my Productivity
Now when I get stuck at work, I cannot access all the resources I have collected over the years. If I encounter a problem I’ve already solved, rather than access the solution in seconds by searching my email, I have to solve the problem again or search Google. This is a waste of time.
I’m also registered to many forums. Forums are a great place to find answers to common problems. They are a great place to find help from experienced people, people from around the world. I can’t reply or post on these forums without an account and I have too many accounts on too many sites to remember all the passwords. If I had access to my Gmail account, I could do a password retrieval. I don’t want to make new accounts for all these sites every time I change job (see paragraph one!). Also, using my account I can instantly find my old posts. I can find the answers to the questions I know have a good answer.
With my Gmail account I can quickly access valuable information faster and would be significantly more productive. But, my work won’t allow that because maybe I’ll also send a personal email to my mom.
Embrace Technology, Don’t Fight It.
My work wants me to be productive, so they block Gmail. Guess what myself and others did as soon as Gmail was blocked? We spent the next two hours looking for ways to circumvent the ban. Was it productive for the company? No. Was it time well spent? Yes. A way around the ban was found and we were all back to using Gmail. Of course work filters are always improved and Gmail was eventually blocked again. Then what? Another few hours were wasted trying to circumvent it… How is that productive?
Several hours will be lost over and over again until finally the censor filters win. And once the censor filters do win, the real loser is the company because I can still email my mom from my work email address or download a virus. I just can’t access tons of useful information and resources that could help me do my job faster and better.
So how do I unblock Gmail?
Before you try to access blocked Gmail, keep in mind that doing so could upset your employer. You don’t want to lose your job over Gmail, even if accessing it would make you more productive. If you’re still willing to take the risk, here are the Top 5 tricks to access Gmail when it’s been blocked:
Top 5 Tricks to Access Blocked Gmail
If that doesn’t work, try these:
- http://www.gmail.com | https://www.gmail.com
- http://gmail.com | https://gmail.com
- http://googlemail.com | https://googlemail.com
- http://m.gmail.com | https://m.gmail.com
- http://mail.google.com/mail/x/ | https://mail.google.com/mail/x/
2. Access Blocked Gmail by Using iGoogle
Use iGoogle with the Gmail iGoogle Gadget. You’ll then be able to read and reply to email on your iGoogle homepage. Unfortunately you’ll be missing your most powerful features: search, labels and chat. Basically, work filters have made sure that you’ll only be able to use Gmail for personal reasons rather than work related purposes. Good job!
3. Access Blocked Gmail Using a Smart Phone
It’s not a perfect solution, but if you have an iPhone, Android phone, or any other cell phone with internet access, you can get Gmail for your mobile phone.
4. Access Blocked Gmail Using the Opera Mini Simulator
Don’t have a smart phone? That’s ok. The Opera Mini Simulator lets you run a live demo of the Opera Mini browser. It runs just like it would on a handset, except you access it from your computer. It’s not convenient. It’s not pretty. But it usually always works. For a better browsing experience, you’ll want to use the mobile version of Gmail.
5. Unblock Gmail… by Translating it!
It might sound crazy, but translating Google will sometimes let you access it when it’s been blocked. Head over to http://translate.google.com/ then enter the web address for Gmail. Translate from any language to english, cross your fingers, and hope for the best!
If you’re blocking Gmail you’re treating your employees like enemies, not co-workers. You’re not ensuring they remain productive, you’re doing the opposite. Make your employees happy, make work fun and enjoyable, encourage creativity and collaboration. Then you’ll see productivity go up and turn-over go down. With lower turn-over, imagine how productive your staff can be when they don’t have to spend as much time training new staff.
Don’t punish your employees for mistakes they haven’t made. Reward them for success they haven’t had. Encourage them to succeed, don’t threaten them with the consequences of failure.