Facebook use at work on the increase

Our tech support teams tell me that there is increasingly a trend for business customers to call in and ask for Facebook to be blocked in their offices.

I wondered whether there were any stats showing how much Facebook use there is in the workplace but there don’t seem to be any – not that I can find anyway.

It does pose the question as to what level of freedom is acceptable in respect of the use of social networking tools at work. There are arguments both for and against which have been well debated elsewhere.

You might think that provided it is properly managed it would be ok. However this is coming from someone who blocks every game (Farmville etc) on Facebook as being too much of a distraction and a waste of time.

If anyone has any data here I’d be interested to see it.

Many routers now let you put blocks in place to prevent browsing to specific websites though the savvy user can easily get round them. It’s the same issue as when the government thinks about introducing the blocking of websites relating to copyright infringement.

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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3 Comments

  1. We’ve tried blocking Facebook but as you say the savvy user will always get around simple router blocks, even by using IP address. We are thinking of setting up a break out room now with a few PCs that can be used for social and personal use. It may help get it “out of their system” on break times not work time!!

  2. It is likely that employers instead of accepting the natural trend that could benefit both parties, they are going all the way back to the old business as usual thing. That used to work then, not now. It will be more beneficial to allow it at work. Just befriend all your employees and see how they use it.
    Those who have embraced it have seen the benefits. Someone can only be productive for at most 5 hours a day. The rest of the time they just chit chat. 8 hour shifts unless in a construction site, don’t deliver all the way. The chit chat time is good to socialise and take your business out there to there social circles. It makes them feel like part of a family.

    Social media is good for your business if you embrace it. Humans are social beings. They are at work 8 hours a day. Think ’bout it?

  3. An interesting perspective on both counts above. I have worked in a number of organisation with a range of views on Facebook from the uber-liberal to the blackout merchants. I have to say that in my experience rarely does the use of Facebook or the presence of Facebook at work have anything other than a negative impact on the working environments. I draw to your attention the thoughts of Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter for The Social Network. I am paraphrasing from memory but it roughly translates to “socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.” I am afraid I concur.

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