Facebook: Time to Regulate Office Hour Use?
Between Farmville, Mafia Wars, and a million other applications, it’s easy to see how Facebook has quickly become one of the leading productivity stealers in the enterprise. But how do you curb social networking without looking like a heel to your users? I raise the issue because of a recent conversation I had with an IT manager, who is fighting back against Facebook in his own organization.
The IT manager, who wished to remain anonymous, works for a midsize enterprise in the New York metropolitan area. After Facebook emerged as a productivity killer in his organization, the IT manager deployed web content filtering from Websense to actually limit Facebook usage to 5 minutes a day per user; although company network access to FaceBook remains wide open from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. or after normal operating hours.
He says it’s not out of spite, but because in a world where Facebook has overtaken Google as the biggest time waster on the Internet, it’s necessary to keep employees from spending all day networking and gossiping.
So is this example a rare, isolated event or part of a larger trend?