Social Media at Work

What are the psychological implications when companies block access to social networking sites at work?

To answer the question, one needs to understand why are social networking sites blocked in the first place.

Robert Half Technology, a staffing provider of IT resources, conducted a survey where they interviewed more than 1,400 chief information officers from companies across the US:  What is your companys policy on visiting social networking sites, such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter while at work?

  • 54% said their firms do not allow employees to visit social networking sites for any reason while at work
  • 19% allow for business purposes only
  • 16% allow for limited personal use
  • 10% allow unlimited personal use

The top reasons for blocking social networking sites at work are:

  • Loss in productivity
  • Exposure of companys computers and networks to viruses and spyware
  • Leaking of corporate information
  • Potential to create legal liability for company

Boundaries between personal and work life have become blurred.  It started with the Blackberry, where people became addicted to the blinking red light and had to respond to each incoming email. Accessing social networking sites isn’t different.  We have become a society that must know whats happening at every moment. Recently, Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm, conducted a study done of approximately 325 organizations across various industries around the world.  They found that:

  • 60% felt social media fostered collaboration and idea sharing
  • 58% found social media helped with team building
  • 42% thought it engaged the workforce in real-time

The case for allowing access to social networking sites becomes even greater as younger generations enter the workforce.

I think it should be allowed.  What do you think?

via Psychology 2.0: Social Media at Work | Psychology Today.

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