Should You Let Your Employees Use Facebook At Work?

Should you allow Facebook at work?

Many companies still block employees from using Facebook at work. While we’re a social media company and encourage employees to use it (obviously), it’s understandable that some don’t. After all, they don’t want their workforce to be distracted by the latest Grumpy Cat meme or The Lad Bible; they want staff to be focussed on the job at hand.

Well, Facebook has listened and responded. In January they launched a Facebook at Work version of its service in a bid to win over the corporate critics. The innovative new idea was launched as a test for ‘pilot partners’ whose employees will be able to download the Facebook at Work mobile application for iOS or Android devices, as well as using its website.

Facebook has ambitions of mixing it with the likes of Google and Microsoft in order to compete with workplace communication tools and this certainly appears to be a step in the right direction. Roughly 61% of office workers use social media during the day and Facebook takes up a huge share of that activity.

Employers' Response to Facebook at Work

Many employers see this as a negative and here’s why. Facebook’s highest traffic actually occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. This equates to a 1.5% decrease in productivity, which adds up to 12 billion hours wasted per year with a cost of over £300 billion to the employee’s companies. A study last year found that more than 54% of offices currently block Facebook on work computers as a result.

But Facebook will be looking to turn this negative in to a positive and harness the social media platform’s incredible popularity to stimulate conversation in the workplace. According to The Financial Times the new service would be completely separate from Facebook’s consumer product. The FT say that the service would allow users to message their colleagues, connect with other people in their professional network, and collaborate on work projects. Mark Zuckerberg had this to say:

"We are going to continue preparing for the future by investing aggressively, connecting everyone, understanding the world, and building the next-generation in computing platforms."

If Facebook can successfully accomplish a service that can be integrated in the working environment, it would certainly have a captive audience and make the platform far more appealing for businesses and advertisers.

Photo Source: By MC1 Daniel Hinton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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