Business Managers Who Ban Social Networking May Lose Staff

May 22, 2008 08:25 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
An Australian study suggests that bosses who ban social networking at work may have trouble retaining and hiring employees.

30-Second Summary

According to research from Deacons, an Australian law firm, nearly half of regular social networking users would refuse a job if social networking sites were banned by a potential employer.

Social networking has become increasingly popular in the last few years, with an especial attraction for young users. As this young demographic enters the workforce, their social networking habits raise eyebrows among potential employers. Nick Abrahams of Deacons explained the problem: "Younger employees are the ones who use social networking sites and it's these people organizations are trying to attract."

The issue has prompted a debate over the value of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace in the workplace. Some companies believe that allowing access to social networking sites can boost the employees’ professional connections and reinforce trust between workers and higher-ups. According to analysis presented in, “business users often use [social networking] tools … more for official purposes than for personal reasons.”

Others employers fear that time used for online social networking means losses in productivity, and ultimately, in profits. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a 2007 Australian employment report calculated that “if an employee spends an hour each day on Facebook, it costs the company more than $A6200 a year.” Because Australia has approximately 800,000 businesses, the cost of time spent on Facebook could total nearly $A5 billion annually.

Headline Link: ‘Bosses who block Facebook are losing staff’

Background: Facebook infiltrates the office

Opinions and Analysis: Facebook serves as online “water cooler”

History: The rise of social networking


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