Back to the dark ages

Sep 16 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

The UK is taking a turn back to the Dickensian era it seems. According to a survey from Vodaphone, more than one-third (35% to be exact) of UK businesses have banned social networking sites from the workplace.

This is the highest rate in rate in Europe; the Spanish are a very distant second at 19%. What is the worry?

The fact of the matter is that almost everyone surfs for personal information or pleasure during the workday. Many companies have a liberal internet policy, which allows for some personal surfing. To the extent that British companies feel that they need an outright ban on such sites is indicative of a greater problem Ė including bad management.

The problem with banning such sites is that is assumes that a significant number of employees not only visit such sites, but abuse the privilege. If that's the case, it's likely that they're spending time surfing other sites during the day, or taking long coffee/smoke breaks, or taking personal calls on their mobile or at their desk. I'd suggest that such behavior is indicative of a productivity problem that goes far beyond Facebook!

Before we start taking the irrational step of banning things that scare us or that we don't understand (the newspaper says Facebook is a bad place, it must be true!), why not take of the people who are causing the problem?

Going after a third-party because management cannot keep their staff focused hardly seems like the rational solution. Then again, what do I know... I'm going to go check out my Facebook page right now.