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News

UK IT Managers believe social networking in the workplace should be severely restricted

Bloxx : 03 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
Survey by Bloxx reveals attitudes to social networking in the workplace and argues that shrewd risk assessment and usage policies can help businesses gain value from the technology
Research released by Bloxx, the innovator in Web content filtering, has highlighted the potential business impact of staff accessing Social Networking sites in the workplace. A broad cross section of ICT professionals from UK public sector and private organisations was surveyed and over 90% believe that access to these sites should be restricted or banned.

The research shows that the biggest concerns for IT Managers are staff productivity, network security risks and damage to corporate reputation. This has led an increasing number of organisations to introduce a complete ban on staff accessing Social Networking sites. Surprisingly, according to the research it also seems common for staff to post disparaging remarks regarding other employees, their boss or the company on Social Networking sites.

Over 22% of respondents do not have any controls in place for staff accessing Social Networking sites. With the survey showing that 35% of IT managers believe staff are spending more than 30 minutes each per day on average accessing Social Networking sites, these companies are potentially providing an additional 16 days paid holiday for each employee.

However, this research also shows that Social Networking is increasingly being used as a valuable business tool and access is required to harness the benefits these sites can bring to businesses.

"UK businesses really can't afford to underestimate some of the risks of Social Networking use in the workplace," said Eamonn Doyle, Chief Executive Officer at Bloxx. "However, our view is that a complete ban is unrealistic and adopting this approach means that companies can't obtain the potential business benefits of Social Networking and can alienate staff."

"It really doesn't have to be all or nothing with Social Networking - the strategy companies need to adopt is one that combines employee education, well-thought-out acceptable use policies and effective, discriminating, cutting-edge Web filtering technology," adds Doyle.


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