Social Networking Annoys Employers (depending on who you believe)

A new Deloitte LLP study claims that 60% of executives have a right to know what their employees get up to on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, especially at work.

Indeed in October last year, ‘an online survey of 1000 Australian employees found 55 per cent said their boss had banned sites such as Facebook and MySpace’. Some bosses go further and fire their employees after monitoring their online activity – a practice I deem highly unethical.

However, a TUC briefing document from 2007, ‘Facing up to Facebook‘, says: “A number of employers have moved to ban use of Facebook at work… In some cases this may be an over-reaction.

Handled properly, personal access to the Internet during lunch breaks could be a valued benefit for staff, and also help employees develop useful IT skills.”

Indeed, another survey found that ‘both salaried and hourly workers are finding ways to use Web 2.0 (social) media at work, for work purposes’, something which, in the 21st Century should be a right, not a luxury.

If of course Facebook is banned at work, there are ways around it

Where I find the contradiction, is other studies which say that, for example, ‘one in five employers use social networks to find employees‘.

Which is right?

I think it depends on the Industry you’re in. Likelihood is that if you are in the media, the majority of bosses will encourage their employees to use social networks to interact and engage, whereas if you are in retail and on the shop floor, tweeting will indeed be a distraction.

4 thoughts on “Social Networking Annoys Employers (depending on who you believe)

  1. Most of the people I know have told me that Facebook & similar sites are banned at their offices. However, like you stated, they work in IT, government, etc, so social media isn’t necessarily a crucial part of their work. But I think all media professionals should have access to social media sites because its crucial to their work. Bottom line- I think as adults, people should have enough self-control to do their work without being distracted by Twitter/Facebook. I’ve seen people using MSN in offices and I feel that would be more distracting than Facebook!

  2. I agree – i think it’s a difficult prospect “talk to bff” or do work, but as adults we should have the right to choose, but essentially, do the right thing. Even if you’re not in social media, or the media, there should still be an option to engage whilst at work, you may benefit in other ways as the TUC document said, for example IT or even literacy skills. Do you think there is a way to address is this in places where internet access isn’t essential, such as IT or Government positions?

  3. In this day and age, I think internet access is essential in all offices. I believe those who work for the council could benefit from social media by engaging with their constituents. I know my aunt is a social worker, and her office is very strict about employees going on Facebook. However, if they were allowed to keep a blog documenting children who are placed in good homes etc or a platform to engage with prospective parents, they could really benefit from that. As for people who work in IT, I feel like it should be part of their jobs to be up-to-date with the latest technology and social media, so it seems a little counter-productive to block such things from offices.

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