Social networking in the workplace – for or against?

Posted in Friendship.

With social networking at an all time high, there is no surprise that the discussion between social networking, and its appropriateness at work, has come to a forefront.  Is social networking appropriate at work, while you’re getting paid to do your job?  Should it be outlawed at business offices, and other places of work, altogether?  Or should social networking be a welcome part of any business day, such as the famous coffee and lunch break?  Regardless of your particular stance on this issue, there is no doubt many businesses are starting to turn a watchful eye, towards online social networking.

Social networking is an excellent way to meet people from all over the world, as well as establish new business connections, keep in touch with friends and family, even run a business from your social networking site.  But as social networking starts to become more popular, as well as mainstream, many businesses are starting to turn a watchful eye towards social networking in the workplace.  Numerous studies have shown that social networking in the workplace could possibly cost many companies dearly, including millions of dollars in lost productivity every year.  Considering the fact that most people usually subscribe to more than one social networking site, it is not uncommon for employees to spend upwards of 1-2 hours every workday browsing through their social media sites.  So what, if anything, can be done about this, or should employees do anything at all?  There are surprising arguments on both sides.

Most companies currently do have policies regarding personal computer use on company time, but is this really the answer?  Many experts are saying no.  A common consensus between business leaders and professional across the world are seeing this ban on computer use to be all but futile.  Their reasoning is that workers will only find ways around such limitations, and this may only cause further resentment and job dissatisfaction.  However, business leaders alike do understand all the possible pitfalls that come with employees spending too much time on the computer.  So is there a happy middle ground?

Many companies are currently working hard to find it.  They don’t want to outlaw computer use altogether, but they also don’t want to be paying their employees for surfing their MySpace, and Facebook accounts on the clock.  So is a compromise in personal computer use at work really possible, or is it altogether impossible?  Many business owners are divided.  

While some business owners may see social networking as a positive attribute to their workplace, other business owners vehemently disagree.  Some argue that giving the individual enough liberty and freedom at work will provide a happier and more productive employee.  While others may argue that giving your employee too much freedom and liberty will only result in wasting money and productivity.  Some argue that social networking in the workplace is a great way to release tension from the monotony of day to day activities.  While others argue that it is nothing more than a distraction and should be relegated for their own personal time.  Regardless of what side of the issue you may be on, no one doubts the growing power of social networking in the 21st century, and it’s growing implications in our day to day lives.

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