According to the latest research almost half of companies ban their employees from using Twitter and Facebook at work.
There will be many people who agree completely about this. It “reduces productivity” being the usual activity levelled at over-sharing workers.
This decision baffles me for two reasons…
1. Surely by banning something you instantly make it more appealing? A large proportion of these banned employees will have access to a smartphone, on which they can easily bypass any internal firewalls. And many people who access Twitter or Facebook during work time do it as a way of taking a break from their everyday job.
2. Isn’t it important to try and make employees advocates of their company on social media, rather than making them resentful? People who are treated as kids are far more likely to go postal and whinge about their employer online, in an effort to let off steam.
Banning social media shows a clear lack of understanding of the power and influence social media now has. Most companies would benefit by allowing employees to tweet or post positively about their brand, rather than feeling bitter and indignant.
The truth of the matter is that many employers are scared of the way that the Internet has become a major part of many people’s lives now and aren’t completely sure how to embrace it.
The natural reaction is to avoid change and stick your head in the sand, but this is one revolution that’s not going away.
The one thing I’d be extremely interested to see is if the companies who ban social media in the office are, in any way, good at using the same medium to promote their own brand. Methinks not!