Some researches released at the end of the year show that the attempts of companies to block the use of social media are not only useless, but also a bad decision for business.
A KMPG study, released in December, found out that over 1/3 of employees who worked for companies who block access to social network websites had created ways to get around the firewall. Plus, 63% employees at places with open access to Facebook and Twitter said they were satisfied in their jobs, as opposed to 41percent of those who have forbidden policies.
The fact is that nowadays the companies themselves have pages and profiles on social media channels and use them not only to talk to costumers, but also, sometimes, to hire new employees. Social media is the key to know what is being said about a company and furthermore to produce good information regarding the brand and work environment.
“Clear, practical and concise policies supported by appropriate training should be high on the agenda to give employees the confidence to be active in social media, while reducing risk by knowing the boundaries within which they should act,” noted Malcolm Alder, a Partner with KPMG in Australia’s Digital Economy practice.
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To accomplish these study, another research, release in November by Cisco (Infographic below), revealed that 40% of college students and 45% of young professionals would agree to lower-paying jobs if they had more access to social media, more choice in the devices they could use at work, and more flexibility in working remotely. "The growing use of the Internet and mobile devices in the workplace is creating a significant impact on job decisions, hiring and work-life balance," the report concluded.
The fact is most of young people sees the use of social network not only as a way to take a break from work (just like having a coffee and healthier than 5 minutes to smoke), but as an imperative tool to learn about the world, get good information and share it. This can be used in favor of the company. Also, once the organization hires someone believing in their good skills, abilities and attitude, it’s a strange turn to tell the same employees they can’t be trusted to manage their own social media behavior during work time.
Likeweise, if even though some companies still are not sure about changing their policies, they should not forget about smartphones: “Executives may be naïve in thinking that banned access to social networks eliminates employee use,” suggested Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European head of Technology and a partner in the UK firm. “Indeed, the survey shows that by restricting or blocking access, many employees tend to move their activity to their own personal devices which are often less secure and completely unmonitored.”
What’s your opinion? Do you think social media should be forbidden at work?