Social Network Surfing at Work: Value Adding or Time Wasting?


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Social networks like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn have many millions of users. Many of them access social networks during work time, in classical economic theory, reducing their availability for other productive work. (By as much as 14 days per year, based upon a conservative average of 30 mins per day and a US working year of 227 days [Source: ILO 2002]). As Techdirt regularly reports, there are growing calls to limit their use at work. Some companies have even banned their use entirely.

On the one hand, the simple lost productive hours figures are headline grabbing. How else could you so easily increase productive hours worked by 6% with so little immediate cost? But on the other hand, social networks are now part of the productivity toolset that staff use to drive collaboration both within and outside work. And is this not part of the employment quid pro quo as employers often expect staff to work long hours of unpaid overtime to preserve their competitiveness?

What do you think? Does banning social networks improve productivity? Or does it just show that you are a Victorian-era employer?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn


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