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Facebook: Entitlement or Empowerment?

I want to start a conversation. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the role of Facebook at work.  According to a new study, most employees consider using Facebook in the office not as a luxury or a business tool, but as a right.  Researchers found that nearly a third of employees are spending an hour or more a day on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets during work hours. “Intelligent Office,” a virtual office research company, surveyed over 1,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. A quarter of the workers also reported they prefer not to work for a company that banned social media at work.

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So, if your young staff members are like their peers, they feel it is their right to use Facebook on your time. Because of this, many employers feel compelled to push back and curb the use of Facebook during office hours. It becomes a power play.

In July of 2009, a Nucleus Research study found that Facebook interaction in the workplace is cutting employee productivity. On the other hand, you can find loads of articles on-line on how Facebook can increase productivity and sales at work. To put it another way, young employees may see Facebook the way we Baby Boomers saw our Rolodex back when we first started our careers.  It’s their network. It’s how they make contact with people who might just be a future customer if treated right. The bottom line? Young employees feel entitled to Facebook. Yet, employers often don’t know how to empower them to use it because it’s new territory.

So, let’s talk about it. Tell me what you think. Should we allow Facebook and social media to be used during work time?  Why?

 

Facebook: Entitlement or Empowerment?