December 20, 2011
Banning Social Media at Work is Useless
Whilst there are still, sadly in my opinion, debate over whether social media should be banned at work, there are still many organizations that would like to shut down access during work hours. New research by KPMG however suggests that such attempts are useless.
The study suggests that companies that try and stop staff using social media are losing the battle. The study found that over 1/3 of employees who worked for companies who had blocked access to Facebook and Twitter had found ways to circumvent the firewall.
Some employees owned up to hacking their machines so that they could access Facebook whilst at work. Job satisfaction and employee engagement are also impacted by access to social media: 63 percent of employees at organizations with open policies on social media said they were satisfied in their job, versus only 41 percent of those who had their access restricted.
“Executives may be naïve in thinking that banned access to social networks eliminates employee use,” suggested Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European head of Technology and a partner in the UK firm. “Indeed, the survey shows that by restricting or blocking access, many employees tend to move their activity to their own personal devices which are often less secure and completely unmonitored.”
The study found that around 50% of organizations trained staff on the use of social media, with 62% having a policy on appropriate social media use. 60% meanwhile, monitored staff activities on social networking sites.
“Clear, practical and concise policies supported by appropriate training should be high on the agenda to give employees the confidence to be active in social media, while reducing risk by knowing the boundaries within which they should act,” noted Malcolm Alder. “We recommend organizations first listen to what is being said about them in social media; the unvarnished truth and then set the rules of engagement before they head out on the path to social network adoption.”
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