Should social networking websites be banned at colleges and work place?
This is a question most often asked and debated upon! Most organizations and colleges today have either banned the popular social networking sites or provided limited access to their employees and students. The reasons organizations cite is that these websites directly affect the productivity of an employee and distract students. People check their profile, pictures of their friends more than once during the day and this leads them to spending less quality time at work. No wonder Facebook was one of the top most visited sites in 2010.
While we may agree to the usage limit of these sites, but you cannot really make someone work harder by banning these sites as he will find a way out anyway. He will spend most of his time away from his desk playing carom or TT or simply watching TV in the office cafeteria. Whereas someone who loves to work will finish his work as per the deadline no matter whatever access he has got to whichever sites.
The problem that most organizations face is around productivity. Some employees are too keen on chatting and updating the latest pictures that they forget they might be missing a deadline or forgetting to pick the next task or leave some task unfinished! These employees may not participate in training and learning sessions and may not add any value to the organization.
I personally feel that banning is not the solution. Instead there should be limited access and the company should have policies around performance. If there is a decline in performance, the root cause should be analyzed and then the solution found will be meaningful. After all, having to work hard does not mean that you have to stay away from family and friends. The occasional phone call or a casual chat is fine just to keep stress away from you! After all, family and friends are the ones who will stay with you and given the hectic schedule today, there is hardly any time left after work. I know friends who remain online but won’t ping you because they are hardly on that page. So, it basically an individual decision of working/chatting.
Banning is not an answer but monitoring is! Telling the employees the dos and don’ts is important.
Social networking in today’s busy life is essential as you know about what is happening around through news feeds, status messages and so on. It is a breather in fact. It helps you get in touch with old friends and acquaintances and is especially useful if you are travelling for work purposes. Most organizations would arrange for accommodation for their employees but some don’t. It is where social networking comes handy.
It is, as mentioned before, important to train employees and specially the younger lot that he or she is accountable for what he/she does. Time management should be part of every training.