There’s continuing debate in the c-suite about the appropriateness of employees using social media at work.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt cause companies to block access for four fundamental reasons:
1. Productivity will suffer.
2. Employees will say things that will get the company in trouble.
3. Access to social networks will introduce viruses to the network.
4. Access to social media will consume mission critical bandwidth.
Here’s stopblocking.org’s answers to each of these concerns:
1. Studies from Mindlab International and the University of Melbourne show that productivity actually increases when employees are able to visit online networks. Further, employees who are not productive because of time spent on Facebook will just go back to being unproductive using the same distractions they used before Facebook.
2. Employees don’t need online social networks to violate regulations, give away intellectual property or disclose competitive information. Effective training and communication empower employees to become brand ambassadors improving the consistency and quality of communications to all key constituencies — customers, prospects, channel partners, suppliers and other employees.
3. The U.S. Department of Defense has opened access to all staff — including soldiers on the ground in combat zones — to social networks. The Pentagon is not ignoring the risks to its network, but rather ensuring that more local and granular security measure are taken that do not require a ban on access.
4. This is a legitimate concern that relates to streaming media like YouTube videos, sporting events and music services. However, companies never chose to kill print publications because they didn’t have enough paper. Bandwidth is the paper of the digital era and the business case can be made to buy more.
For more information on why employees need to have access to social media in the workplace, visit http://www.stopblocking.org.
Let me know if this causes a change among your c-level executives.