Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To Ban or Not to Ban: Social Networking in the workplace

Recently, I came across some white papers from CMS Wire that discuss the pros and cons of allowing employees to be able to access social networking sites at the work place.

This paper points out that employers do allow employees to use the internet for personal reasons in reasonable amounts of time. There are policies in place that state what the employees are allowed to do on the internet. But social networking is an all together a different type of problem. It takes away from productivity if the employee gets too involved. It also allows employers to view some aspect of the personal lives of the employees when they have access to this personal information on company servers.

So: Do you trust your employees to keep up personal productivity and allow them to access social networking sites or do you ban the use at the workplace all together? In the UK, 43% of employers have banned social networking all together. Not only is this because of personal productivity levels, but employers also see threats to the security of their business. There are several laws in place that protect the privacy of individuals, but many of them have no clauses on what these laws are when it comes to the internet.

This paper concludes with a very interesting point: there is no right answer to this. However, there are many wrong answers. Is banning these sits against your company culture? Also – as we’ve asked many times before – is banning the social networking infringing upon the potential success you could have by allowing networking to take place on these sites?

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