Monday, September 10, 2007

Banning social media at work

Last week, PC World ran an article titled, "Don't Ban Facebook at Work, Researchers Advise." The researchers in question were from Britain's Trade Union Congress (TUC), which suggested that employee education and policies governing the use of Facebook and other social networking sites on company time would be a more productive response than banning them outright.

While it's unacceptable for employees to spend hours at work on such sites, it is OK and even beneficial to trust them to spend a few minutes using the sites, the TUC said. 'It's unreasonable for employers to try to stop their staff from having a life outside work, just because they can't get their heads around the technology.'

We're facing our own in-house struggles with the net nanny these days. Last month, just when we were on the threshold of launching our social media project, changes were made to the filters that permit Web access, and most employees with Internet access found that access to blogs had been cut off. It's not exactly easy to do a social media project when you can't get into the blogosphere! Worse, it's now six weeks later and only about a dozen of us have had our access restored while almost 200 are on a priority list to be reinstated... something which might not happen any time soon, as our security people apparently have some serious concerns about enabling access. Actually heard at one meeting: "But, did you know blogs have porn on them?"


In granting our unfettered access to blogland, though, the configuration of the net nanny means that the lucky few who have had our access to blogs restored have also been given access to Facebook. And we have been told, in no uncertain terms, that ALL access will be monitored, and ANY employee who accesses Facebook may be subject to disciplinary action.

I guess this means I'll have to wait until I get home to play Scrabulous with my Friends.