On The Uselessness Of Blocking Social Networks At Work
from the did-you-block-the-telephone? dept
When this new-fangled invention called “the telephone” first became popular, there were some offices that refused to allow them on office workers’ desks, for fear that they would be a waste of time and a distraction that took away from work. I sort of feel the same way when I hear about companies banning Facebook or Twitter, these days. As we’ve said before, it’s obvious that there are people who abuse such tools, and you deal with that by recognizing that they’re not being productive and either telling them to shape up or firing them. Blocking a very useful communications tool just because some people might abuse it doesn’t seem particularly smart. And yet… it’s happening more and more. Yet another study shows how common it is for IT staff to block access to such sites.
However, an article at The Globe & Mail points out how silly this is. The people who are really obsessed with using such sites will simply find ways around such blocks, whether its via some sort of proxy site — or just by accessing the sites via a smartphone, outside the control of the corporate IT staff. On top of that — especially with younger staff — it sets up a workplace where management says, right upfront: we don’t trust you. Why not hire more trustworthy staff and deal individually with those who abuse the system, rather than putting forth an outright ban that throws out the potential good uses along with the misuses?