Accessing Social Networking Sites At The Workplace

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2006
Accessing Social Networking Sites At The Workplace
The risk of employee productivity being affected is high

Man Financial-Sify Securities India Pvt. Ltd., headquartered in Mumbai, offers online and offline equity and derivatives trading for retail customers, as well as execution and clearing services for financial institutions.

"Social networking sites are cropping up into the work environment a lot these days. As far as my knowledge goes, a majority of people access them at the workplace for reasons other than maintaining relationships with business contacts and clients. Such sites are more social and informal connectivity junctures rather than strategic productivity tools for business contacts.

"These sites have been in the news for varied reasons, whereas their use for employee recruitment or retention might be a rare case in India. A point to be noted is that these sites carry malicious code and adware, which increases the risk to the computers and the entire network of the company. Also, a lot of man-hours and company resources get wasted by access to such sites.

"Honestly, we'd prefer to be on the safe side, so our company has formulated a policy to restrict any access to social networking sites at the workplace. And to enforce this policy, our technical team has blocked access.

"We would definitely not recommend allowing access to the sites, for the simple reason that the risk of employee productivity being affected is high. Speaking personally, these sites are meant for keeping personal contacts, and at the workplace, should be used for maintaining relationships with clients.

"In the future, we might consider opening access to sites specifically for business networking and maintaining business relationships and contacts, if we feel that they could compliment our operations."

"A lot of man-hours and company resources get wasted by access to such sites"

Manojkumar Chandiramani,
Vice President – IT, MAN Financial Sify Securities

It is likely they can be more useful for nascent businesses

Conceived in 2000, BillDesk is a service bureau that offers billers, banks and customers a comprehensive bill presentment, payment and management service.

"We know our employees access social networking Web sites at our company. We do allow our employees access to networking sites at our office, but only selective sites.
"Hopefully, over a period of time, these sites will evolve to a level where networking can aid business"

M N Shrinivasu, Director, BillDesk

"The reason for selective access is that a few of these sites are loaded with malicious code and explicit content. By restricting access to them, possible harm to the company network or computing systems can be avoided.

"Furthermore, such access is allowed only to specific employees of departments or functions of the organisation. As such, currently, we are not seeing any major translated advantage of such access for the organisation as a whole. Hopefully, over a period of time, these sites will evolve to a level where networking can aid business.

"These sites, particularly those that have a business orientation, are relevant today for two key reasons-these are global and have participation from varying stakeholders who have specific objectives: for example, vendors, clients, the competition, potential recruits and so on. Second, they have the network impact. It is also likely they will be more useful for nascent and growing businesses as opposed to well-established businesses.

"From an organisational perspective, the policy of selective access would be based on the concerned network in some sense being able to aid business / organisational goals. A site that is focused primarily on encouraging social dating, if allowed unhindered access, would perhaps result in substantial diversion of employee time. Hence, we have based our decision purely on a perception of those sites that have organisational relevance and that can aid either knowledge sharing or employee performance."

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