Survey: More Employees Worldwide Visit Social Sites While Working –

Survey: More Employees Worldwide Visit Social Sites While Working –

Whether wholesale jerseys it’s cheap jerseys China Facebook, cheap jerseys Twitter, Hello MySpace, Mixi, test StudiVZ or Orkut, more people worldwide are using company computers to log on to social networking sites while at work, according to a new survey. But at least one HR and social networking expert says employers who have well-defined social networking policies shouldn’t fret about the loss of productivity or corporate data. “As long as employees know the rules, hopefully through their social media policies, they know what they can and can’t be doing and should and shouldn’t be doing on those social networks,” said Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, blogger and author of the book Tweet This: Twitter for Business (The P3 Business, 2010). Ring, Ring Miller-Merrell equates the use of such sites to using the telephone. “A lot of people who are super power users are using these social media sites to improve their productivity. They consider the people within their network to be crucial and to being productive in the workplace,” she said via phone after being contacted through Twitter. Nearly a quarter of employees surveyed visit social networking sites while on their corporate networks, according to the report by Trend Micro, a global Internet content security provider. Trend Micro surveyed 1,600 corporate computer end-users at 400 companies in Japan, the U.S., Germany and the U.K. during March 2010. The respondents were employed full time with e-mail and Internet access at work and used computers in their positions at least five hours per week at work. Overall, the study found, from 2008 to 2010, workplace social web usage has risen from 19 percent to 24 percent across the four countries. A higher proportion of workers in the U.K. (33 percent) visited social networking sites compared to 24 percent in the U.S. and Germany. In Japan the figure was 14 percent. According to the study, in the U.S. and Japan, employees at small companies are more likely to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Mixi while on company networks than those employed by large companies—possibly because large companies have restricted access to such sites through firewalls. In each country except Japan, laptop users (29 percent) are significantly more likely to visit social networking sites while on company networks than are desktop users (18 percent), the survey stated. In 2008, the percentage of laptop users was 21 percent; the share of desktop users was 29 percent. Regardless of country, laptop users who can connect to the Internet outside of company networks are more likely to share confidential information via instant message, web mail and social media applications than those who are always connected to a company’s network, the study states. This is significantly more so in Germany and Japan. What About Productivity? Citing a study from 2009, Miller-Merrell said more people spend time on cigarette breaks than they do on Facebook. She said, “a study by Ball State University in 2009 said that Facebook actually only takes up 7.2 minutes of your time daily versus smoking, which has been found to take up 64 minutes.” In the end, she said, it’s all a matter of perspective. “For a lot of people who are using social networking, it’s a way to get in front of your clients or employees who are obviously accessing those sites from work or home.” She adds that companies that are concerned shouldn’t assume how their employees are using social networking sites. Rather, they should ask and adjust their policies accordingly. “I think that companies need to have an understanding and be educated on how these social sites are changing the workplace and don’t just assume that your opinion is the opinion of everyone within the company,” she said. “Conduct a survey among your employees, and get a policy based on their input and opinions.” Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Reach her via twitter @1SHRMScribe.

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