Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you kidding? Facebook is blocked!?!?!

The title represents what you might be thinking as you settle into your cubicle of your first job (or an office for the lucky ones.)  I found these astonishing facts in a recent blog of Meredith Singer’s from AllFacebook.com on November 16th, 2010:
“A survey of more than 1,000 businesses from the US and UK found that 81 percent of workers said their company has an employee Internet policy in place. Fifty percent said employees are not allowed to visit any social networks via a company computer or laptop. Of those polled, 39 percent have a company policy that prohibits visiting Facebook, 30 percent block Twitter, and 27 percent block video-sharing sites like YouTube.”

These facts are really surprising because I had not stopped to think about the decrease in daily productivity due to social media sites. If you add up all of the time of each individual in the whole company, there is a lot of time that employees are being paid to check their friend’s Facebook status!

This survey was conducted by Webroot, an Internet security company. They found that number of small to medium-sized businesses that were blocking social media sites was quite large and increasing. Many companies reasoned that the reason for preventing employees on these sites is to reduce the risk of viruses. While this may be true, I am sure they are not disappointed that they will reduce wasted time.

From a business perspective, I believe the organization’s structure should decide whether or not this is necessary to implement. I think that organizations such as advertising/marketing agencies should be allowed to visit social media sites due to their direct connection to these sites and this also helps spark creativity. On the other hand, I think blocking social media sites at a customer service phone center would be appropriate. These employees would never need social media sites in their daily work.

What do you think about companies blocking employees from social media sites? Do you know any businesses that do this?

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