I thought this news article from Reed is interesting as it is has a substantial number of workers surveyed, making it more accurate than many!
Looks like many companies have not still seen the advantages, or is it down to liberties taken?
Two-thirds of UK workers think social networking sites should be banned from the workplace
More than two-thirds of UK workers believe access to social networking sites should be banned from the workplace, according to new research from leading UK job site, reed.co.uk.
The survey of 4,245 workers across the UK revealed that just one-in-three employees accesses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networking sites whilst at work.
However, for some professions, social networks have become a staple of the working day. Almost half of Marketing and PR professionals tap into the social sphere every day, compared to just a quarter of Finance workers.
And when it comes to following Twitter or updating a Facebook status, mobile takes the lead: 60% of UK employees opt to use their phone over a work computer.
The research also revealed that one-in-four businesses has banned employees from browsing social networking sites during work hours. 35% of employers give full access and, while the remaining 40% do allow access, it’s almost always permitted for business purposes only.
Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk comments:
“In spite of their phenomenal popularity, the majority of UK workers would rather steer clear of Facebook and Twitter whilst they’re at work, with many seeing them as an unwelcome distraction or a risk to their privacy.
“But social networks aren’t just about liking and poking, they have an increasingly important role in business and in career development. Used in the right way, social networks offer a powerful platform for engaging with new customers, strengthening client relationships and gathering information.
Warnes recommends employers enter into a dialogue with their staff about access to social networking sites at work:
“For many, social networking is a way of life, and smartphones allow us to stay up-to-date no matter where we are and what we’re doing. So to avoid a situation where employees are surreptitiously accessing Facebook and Google + under their desks, employers should engage with their staff to determine an appropriate policy for use.
A visual summary of reed.co.uk’s research findings have been summarised in an infographic:
Whilst I respect this view, the methods of communication which social networking supports (instant messaging, video messaging, etc) are technologies no workplace can afford to ignore. It is not a case of banning facebook (and the rest) and it will go away; the situation deserves more consideration. Unless you correctly forecast the current role of email in the mid 80’s, or the effect of the world wide web in 1995, then I doubt you ( or I ) can predict what Social Media will mean to the conduct of business in 10 years time.
I think that Stuart is right. In fact, use of social media may actually play more of a part in future job roles. However, there are many jobs, for example in transport, where recruitment may not hinge upon social media.
I am surprised at those survey results – I wonder how the question was worded; I can’t help thinking it didnt say – “do you think social media sites should be banned from the workplace?”. As the use of blogs, FB pages, twitter feeds are understood more and more by businesses I think in fact the use will go up.