Viral has written an interesting post looking at how some large (traditional) organisations are afraid that their employees will waste time unless access to all social networking sites & Instant Messaging is/are banned - the BBC wrote a piece on the very subject.
It's soooo old school to judge the value of your employees by how much time they spend at a desk - measure their results and let them get on with what's important. I personally find social networking sites to be USEFUL for my work but I understand that's not necessarily the case for everyone.
Remember when such companies banned Internet access all together citing the same fear that people would waste time surfing the web when they should be working. I use the web to BE productive @ work as I'm sure many of you do too.
I can waste time without any technology - give me a window. I can watch the birdies / clouds / rain!
If I'm not important enough for a view of the outside World then no matter - I can look busy and still do absolutely nothing useful. I can think of all kinds of interesting things whilst tapping away at my keyboard and staring (into space) at my computer screen. I can send pointless emails to my peers to appear busy - sending "I'm still here messages" (or "keep alive packets" as James calls them) to those around me.
OR I can be left alone to get on with exceeding my work commitments! I work when I am most productive FROM WHERE I am most productive USING THE TOOLS that make me most productive thereby achieving a sensible work life balance as MY EMPLOYER TRUSTS ME. I've never worked so hard in my life, I'm not earning the most I've ever earned and yet I'm really happy.
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My wife has recently started working for one of the big high street banks in the back office and she has not been given internet access as "she doesn't need it."
So far I have received one call from her asking me to look up an exchange rate on the internet.
When I advise customers to get their employees on Facebook, add business contacts and leverage the tools to reach out to their customers, I always receive the reply "Wow, that's a really good idea."
I have heard tools are due to be released that will allow people to get around the corporate network blocks on Fcebook. It will remain to be seen.
Sure they may get around the firewalls but how are they going to get around company policy. Nothing like a few well publicised sackings (internal to a company) to ensure employees think and think again before abusing systems! Seen it in action and it works. It also doesn't affect moral as long as it is fair and just!
Yes you find as one door closes another one opens. I am trying to sell the benifits of messenger and hotmail to my company at the moment.