Of the 308 companies interviewed by Forrester Consulting, 58.4% said that they prohibit “playing” on social networks such as Facebook and MSpace. The common sense reason is that if they are social networking, they aren’t working.
The counter argument is that by allowing a specified amount of time to be used for social networking or whatever other “toys” are available, the overall team spirit and job satisfaction will increase.
What most companies are not taking into account is a concept that would make some people angry, make some people rebel, and even make some people quit. Still, I think it would work in many situations. What if you allowed X amount of time per week for “Facebooking” in exchange for some sort of marketing element attached. It could be as simple as a link on their profile to the company website to sending marketing information to friends. It could be as easy as joining a group tailored towards marketing some aspect of the company. I think most would be willing to be “used” a bit if it meant time to play without getting in trouble or having to hide it. It could blow up in someone’s face, but I don’t see any obvious flaws.
With businesses able to integrate email, collaboration, and documents with
, it’s not wonder they have so much time socialize online.