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Most Employers Block Facebook and Myspace

November 7th, 2007 · 7 Comments

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According to the New York Times, 50.2 percent of employers block access to social networks MySpace and Facebook over their corporate systems. 43.9 percent block MySpace, and 25.6 percent block Facebook. This information comes from web security firm Barracuda Networks which polled 2,400 of its own customers.

What is your experience, readers? Do your employers block the social networks because they fear they’re time wasters… or do they encourage you to use them because they think social networking is the productivity wave of the future? And which position is more absurd? Let us know in the comments.

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Tags: Productivity · Time Wasters · WorkLife

  • Josh Boldman

    Ok, first I have to say that an employer does have the right to block pretty much any websites that they choose because they:

    1.) Are the ones paying for the internet connection
    2.) Are the ones that paid for the computer that the employee is using
    3.) Are the ones paying the employee for his/her time

    Now, that being said, I think that an employer that starts throwing out too many “Thou Shalt Nots” will soon have disgruntled employees on their hands. I guess a good question to ask is, “Is this reducing productivity?” If so, then we’ve got a problem, if not, what’s the harm?

    And perhaps the employer needs to ask, “Why do my employees have enough free time to go on myspace while they are in their offices?”

    Are social networks/blogs the productivity wave of the future? Absolutely. Do all employers see this? Absolutely not. I think over the course of time, such stringent rules may become relaxed, but who knows?

    In the end, I would have to give this advice to employers: “A happy employee is a productive employee.” Is it worth upsetting your employees to get perhaps a 5% increase in their productivity? Up to you I guess.

    – Josh Boldman

  • Janice

    Would they block LinkedIn? I can now do the same things on Facebook that I can do on LinkedIn, and they’re supposedly making it more business friendly soon.

  • Brian

    Exactly, Josh. Social networks can be work tools. They might be the work tools of the future. I always bang my head on my desk when I see another article about, “employers block this website or that website.”

    I mean, anything on the internet is a potential time waster. Reading the NYTimes could be a time waster. Just turning your computer on can be a time waster (yes, I’ve also read the articles about employers blocking MineSweep).

  • FordBored

    My company is investigating using social networking as part of their external communications strategy, so that’s why I use it at work. Its proving to be a great way to extend my reach in terms of new media and consumers. I think the major issue that employers have is the fact that employees cannot responsibly manage their time on websites such as FB. I can jump on for 5 minutes, do what I need, and jump off. If I want to really get involved in building my FB page, then I will do it outside of work.

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  • NewYorkGal

    Some people are playing around on facebook all day while their co-workers are working hard all day. I don’t think some employers know about that. The constant facebooking is a reminder to the overworked employees of how little some of their coworkers have to do and that they get away with looking busy all day.