A current Yahoo news story reports:
“A new survey developed by Robert Half Technology suggests people who like to use social-networking Web sites while they’re at work could be violating company policy. Fifty-four percent of the companies surveyed said they prohibit the use of social-networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook.”
“There are some places that allow social-networking, but not many. About 20-percent allow employees to use social networking sites for work purposes only. Only 16-percent allow personal use.”
I attended a conference on Talent Management about a year ago, and a panel discussion debated whether or not such social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Second Life should be allowed in the workplace. The consensus?
There is none.
The fascinating thing is this whole generational difference issue. I mean, “old school” folks who are Baby Boomers and getting ready to retire, say, “No way! Facebook, Twitter, and all that stuff is a waste of time in a business setting!”.
Ask a Gen “X” or Gen “Y” employee, and they will tell you a different story. It’s the way they keep in touch with their peers in a virtual world. They will tell you it enhances their productivity because they can instantaneously access a peer across the world to get an answer to a quick, but business critical, question.
Ask anyone who has worked on global projects can attest, being able to interact virtually is mission-critical to getting work done.
But how does this play out against the question of “work-life balance”? Hey, as I write this blog, I’m watching a baseball game on TV at home (hope the Dodgers win), planning my calendar for tomorrow, and trying to carry on a conversation with my wife and college-age son.
Are there limits to social networking? When is it appropriate and when is it “too much”? Should social networking sites be allowed, or even encouraged, in the workplace? What are your company policies? Does your company’s IT security policy block access to these sites? Is it a terminable offense?
Or does your company condone, or even encourage social networking? How do you use these tools at work?