Horror – Social Networking = Productivity Drain

The nerve of them.

Apparently, some employers thinks spending time on social networks like MySpace and Facebook are, well, not exactly essential to the job at hand…

Barracuda [a network security firm], based in Campbell, Calif., blocks its 350 employees from accessing social networks. “Our experience has been that they are a little bit of a productivity drain,” Mr. Drako said.

Barracuda said that in general, 53 percent of companies now restrict employee Web surfing. One in five companies that filter Web surfing also actively monitor employee online activities, which should make you think twice before you SuperPoke a friend on Facebook from your cubicle.    Full story in the NYT

I worked at a large media conglomerate where,  decades before I arrived, employees had somehow convinced management that reading the newspaper was an integral part of their jobs.  It wasn’t unusual to pass cubicle after cubicle and see people deeply absorbed in reading the paper doing research.

Its not surprising, therefore, that there was a near panic stampede a few days ago when a number of social network sites were blocked (for a short while) at this very same former workplace of mine.

But web browsing during office hours on non-work-related sites is nothing new.  This graph represents web traffic over the course of a day…


This happens to be my web server log, but a variation of this graph shows up on 90% of web sites.  Sure there’s evening traffic, but the highest traffic is during regular working hours.  And it’s been like this for as long as I’ve been looking at web traffic graphs (and that’s a long time now).

So, blame Facebook and MySpace all you want.  But remember, if there’s a will, there’s a way to while away the work day.

One thought on “Horror – Social Networking = Productivity Drain”

  1. The Corp has blocked Facebook? That makes no sense and I’m a Facebook/My Space blocker! I see Facebook and MySpace as media. It’s a method for the Corp to engage with their consumers. It is not necessarily a useful tool for hospitals. I am getting some flack for blocking because we don’t currently have a means to allow patients access to Facebook. That would be useful for individuals who are in for therapy of some sort and they have a lot of time on their hands. I’m working on that. Staff really has no need to be on Facebook and I was receiving comments regarding the time consumed by employees on the system. I guess not all employees at the Corp would need access to Facebook. Unfortunately no I.T. department would be willingly agree to a graduated model in this regard. It would consume at least one persons time to review and configure such a process!

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