No Facebook? No thanks!

By Nick Holmes on April 17, 2008
Filed under Social media reports that, according to research conducted by Australian firm Deacons, almost half of those of the 700 “workers” it surveyed who use MySpace and Facebook during work hours say they would refuse a job where they were not allowed access to social networking sites.

The study found 62 per cent of respondents (that’s 434 by my calcs) had access to the internet from work (is that all?) and 14 per cent of those (that’s 61) said they used the internet to access social networking sites at work (so it’s not the norm by a long chalk). So 30 (my calcs again) said they would refuse a job if access to social networking sites was denied. That’s fighting talk from them, but I suspect a lot would depend on what else the employer had to offer. I can’t see anyone turning down an offer from a Magic Circle firm almost whatever the terms.

Nick Abrahams of Deacons advises organisations to consider creating an official policy surrounding the use of social networking sites at work, setting guidelines about the amount of time spent on the sites and cautioning people to behave appropriately and not to disclose confidential company information. Sounds just like the blogging policies being recommended a couple of years ago.

It’s a difficult one isn’t it? Social networking is clearly hugely distracting and resource-hungry but you don’t want to appear fuddy duddy and untrusting by banning it. Is there a middle way?


I can think of myriad reasons to turn down an offer from a magic circle firm, thank you! OK, access to social networking sites is not one of them, and I don’t imagine money is either …

by Peter Groves on 21 April 2008 at 9:29 am. #

Peter, maybe I’m wrong on that. I was assuming those who’ve applied to a MC firm have done so with their eyes open – ie if they didn’t want the type of job offered by that exclusive club (and there are many reasons), they wouldn’t have applied in the first place.

by Nick Holmes on 21 April 2008 at 12:24 pm. #

Having worked somewhere where access to the internet was banned, I must say it makes a difference.

It’s not so much that you can’t go on a particular site- it’s more than that, it’s a reflection of the firm’s attitude. If they don’t allow hotmail/facebook/other sites’ access that’s a fairly good indicator that they either don’t trust employees or that you will be heavily scrutinised all the time.

Neither are attractive prospects.

by Mel on 24 April 2008 at 10:15 pm. #

Mel, I think you’re right there. I give my staff unfettered internet access and don’t have a stated company policy. As I’m a very small outfit, that works fine; I’d soon know if they were abusing the freedom. For a large firm/corporate, I’d say a company policy is necessary, though the more detailed it is, the less trust it would show.

by Nick Holmes on 1 May 2008 at 2:58 pm. #