Social networking is so popular that many employers say they are facing a dilemma. Should they allow their workers to continue to access social media sites like Facebook, or should social networking be blocked at work?
Right now, one in five Americans cannot access Facebook at work. Computer World reports that companies that allow access to social network sites during work hours report a 1.5 percent drop in productivity among its workers.
Nucleus Research reports that out of employees that it surveyed some of them reported that they spent as much as two hours a day on social network sites. For many employers Facebook, Twitter and other social sites are becoming time wasters, but a U.K. study shows that just less than half of workers who took part in the survey would stay at a job that blocked social media sites.
Experts say that employers could miss out on a great opportunity to use Facebook and Twitters powerful advertising tools. Television advertising reaches fewer consumers than Facebook and Twitter.
Some small businesses are taking advantage of their employees Facebook habits. Many businesses are letting employees use their Facebook and Twitters to get the word out about their products or services. Employees who can successfully use Facebook as an advertising tool are extremely valuable.
Many companies have voiced concerns about employees sharing too much information on social media sites. Graham Cluley from the security company Sophos says, "Employees may not like it, but these websites can represent a security risk if used carelessly.”
A recent court case that ruled in the favor of an employee who was fired because of Facebook postings has employers extremely nervous. Negative company talk can reach such a wide audience that it can be harmful to businesses reputations.
Some employers have decided to block the use of social sites while on company time and others are opting for confidentiality agreements combined with computer security policies. Whether it is concerns over productivity, Internet security, corporate image or office privacy social networks are becoming a big concern for employers across the globe.
Edited by Alisen Downey