Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook More Popular in the Workplace than ...Work

Posted by Katie Noonan

According to a recent study by Network Box, more business internet traffic goes to Facebook than to any other internet site, including Google and Yahoo.

Analysis by the company showed that in the first quarter of 2010, 6.8 percent of all business internet traffic went to Facebook, while YouTube was the most frequently visited bandwidth stealer for the quarter.

From a productivity standpoint this is pretty disconcerting. Friend, colleague and productivity guru, Neen James, encourages clients to use Facebook for 30 minutes a day, once a day, and fight the urge to log in every time someone comments or posts something on their wall.

The study also lends even more credence to the idea that companies should adopt social media policies which clearly state what kind of social media use is permitted and how often. In some industries, and for some roles within companies, social media engagement may be all in a day's work and thus, perfectly acceptable for office use. But if your employees are on Facebook solely for the purpose of completing "Watermelon mastery" (seriously, Farmville?) or to move illegal weapons (Mafia Wars), that's a problem. For the record, I am clearly biased, and, as an old-school Facebook user, have it out for these third-party aps that clog up my news-feed. In fact, in my Facebook-using heyday, there was no such thing as a news-feed or photo albums, but I digress. The point is, employers need to make it clear that Facebook activity which doesn't in some way, shape or form, benefit the company is not permitted unless it's during breaks, if that's the policy, or not at all if, that's the policy. There should be no gray area.

1 comment:

Lisa Valentine said...

It may be true. But still, it's not reason for companies to have the knee-jerk reaction of blocking employee access to social media apps across the board.

There's a helpful whitepaper on the subject, it's called “To Block or Not. Is that the question?”

It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, SharePoint, etc.)