A train station is where the train stops. A bus station is where the bus stops. On my desk, I have a work station....
My programs never have bugs, they just develop random features.
Well in my experiance, programmers have a pretty stressful life. Its is essenstial to give them adequet freedom in their workplace (not too much). Most sufable content should be monitored this is done with interest on the employees behalf and the companies behalf.
The employee, because restricting access to social networking sites will definitly show a boost in effeciency and performance in the work they do. The company aspect is that its preferable that employess dont missuse company bandwidth for personal tasks.
When it comes to worklife balance, flexi work hours should be naturally considered as this is a key aspect many employees look for in a software company. It would help them gain the work life balance they need. (Dont restrict listening to music while working) most programmers work better while blasting some tunes in their ears !!!!
Okay that explains it, HR are a bunch of anally retentive, brain dead, vacuous idiots who are a complete PITA, and no I'm not prejudiced, that is fair and balanced assessment of HR, and their managers are the worst of the lot!
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
If it is piped inoffensive music then yes it will dull the mind and have negative effects. Most people go well on their own choice of poison. Mind it is harder trying to talk to someone who has music blasting in their ears. Employers should worry about the negative effects on hearing - employment tends to force people to sit with earphones for longer than they would otherwise choose.
but when it comes to companies run by a older generation
That would need qualification.
The "older" generation these days is quite familiar with software development. It could be that in some countries or some companies those in charge have a different culture in mind but I don't see that as a general truth.
Only time I've seen something like that is when another manager emailed a bunch of people asking everybody to stop using Pandora, as that was slowing down the internet for others. Wasn't a problem for me, as I stream via my phone anyway.
Though, they are getting pretty annoying as of late. When I visit YouTube, I get a "we're watching you" guilt message saying "hey, you can visit this website, but it takes a lot of bandwidth, and we'll nag you again in an hour." And all of the videos on our website are hosted on YouTube, and I can't seem to get past that guilt message when the video is inline. Because I totally needed another barrier to doing my job.