Wednesday, April 14, 2010

76% of Employers Blocking Social Media Sites

Perhaps you, like most employers, see Social Media at work as "Social Notworking". Are you wondering what your employees are doing on their web browsers all day? Larger companies think they know, and they're doing something about it.

In general, mid-size companites, like members of Chief Executive Boards International have modest IT budgets, and may be ignoring this potential productivity drain. According to a recently-published Facebook Fact Sheet, the average user spends 55 minutes per day on Facebook alone. Depending upon your assumptions about how many of those 55 minutes happen at work, you can do your own calculation on lost productivity.

Web security and filtering provider Scansafe, recently purchased by Cisco, says:

"Currently, 76% of companies are choosing to block social networking and it is now a more popular category to block than online shopping (52%), weapons (75%), alcohol (64%), sports (51%) and Webmail (58%). Surprisingly, employers don’t take the same stern approach to online banking and less than half (47%) of our customers block this category." Full Article....

At the recent GROWCO Conference, sponsored by Inc. Magazine, activity was brisk at the booth of Spectorsoft, a supplier of web activity monitoring software. Clearly, smaller companies are taking more interest in what their employees are doing on the web while at work.

To share your company's point of view or policies on workplace web use, please click "Comment" below.

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it


  1. EXAIR has used web filtering software for more than 5 years. It allows fairly granular control and customized permission levels for different user groups.

    However, it has become increasingly problematic to block access to social media sites while some user groups are responsible for areas that overlap into social media (paid search, SEO, paid advertising, etc).

  2. I have to wonder how effective all this blocking is now that many employees now have smartphones, iphones, etc where they can check facebook/email/other social networks at their leisure. As an employer I don't like having employees on Facebook all day, but I think it is kind of like smoking now. Smokers like to go have a cigarette for 5 minutes now and then, employees like to check Facebook for 5 minutes now and then. It is not an ideal situation, but it is today's reality.

  3. There are a lot of legitimate business reasons to use social networking sites. LinkedIn has become and indispensable tool for me and Facebook is helpful. Therefore I don't see how you can afford to block these. I would think monitoring the time spent on these site and setting alerts when someone is on them for an extended period of time would be more beneficial.

  4. We have actually gotten some business opportunities with our younger sales people while they have been online with friends. One time in particular at 11 pm a friend/future client needed a proposal from us first thing the next morning and mentioned it while chatting on Facebook with our salesperson!

    Sales is changing and social networking is a communication method for the younger people to stay in touch - and close sales!


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