Facebook? Get a life

2009

Perhaps you or a family member recall a difficult time in your professional life, such as getting through a period of high unemployment. Perhaps you remember your grandfather's stories as a child, where he had to work his ass off during the Great Depression to put food on the table, or his troubles during 1938-1945. Perhaps you've seen stories of the plight of children in impoverished nations who are forced to work on inhuman wages so that some foreign company can make a little more money.

Those are all terrible, terrible things, but let's turn our attention to today's issue: there are people out there that won't work for an employer who won't let them access Facebook from the office. There is but a single two word response to that, and it ends with "you".

A research company that specializes in information technology companies took a closer look at issues surrounding the use of social media sites at the office. As it turns out, according to their findings, productivity goes straight down the toilet – to the tune of 1.5%.

I have to admit to having a bit of a chuckle when I read that. Hell, I lose 1,5% every time I head to the loo, have a coffee, or even catch up on e-mail! Of course, when everyone drops by 1.5%, the company really starts to suffer!

That brings me to my next point, when did we as a society decide that social media web access was as a condition to employment? Does anyone else realize how ridiculous that sounds? Perhaps in the future, administrative assistants will have their attorneys negotiating fine points of the work contract.

I think it's high time that companies start being open and honest about how company employees are using technology. Blocking access to certain sites is not a morale booster in any company. However, employees should know the difference between logging on for just a few minutes to update your status or to send a quick message.

The fact that we still have to discuss such issues in 2009 is not a positives sign for our future.

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Older Comments

I agree with you 100%. Now if social networking site surfing is out of control (constant all day thing), then I can understand the issue for a company but if it's during the employee's break, then they should be allowed to do so. We are all adults and blocking things is treating grown people like children.

Joyce Maryland

I saw some research recently suggesting that the average person spends 15 minutes on Facebook per day. There does need to be a grown up discussion about the benefits and pitfalls of social media though. For instance do you ban Facebook and allow LinkedIn? I'm inclined to think that appropriate education and recruitment will be enough to solve this issue rather than having to limit what people can use the Internet for.

Adi @ The Management Blog http://blog.managers.org.uk