A recent article on Times Online points out that tech firm Cisco actively encourages their employees to get involved with social networking. The company is reported to have built their own social networking and collaboration platforms that they claim improves innovation and speeds product development. Cisco management, the article suggests, is unfazed by the possible loss of productivty that has lead to many companies implementing a blanket ban on social networking sites.
Such a ban, the article reports, may be a knee-jerk reaction by people who fail to understand the business benefits. The author points out that banning social networking may be inconsistent in that many companies presume to invade on the private lives of employees through the Internet bringing work to a person’s home – but the same companies have issues when people bring their private lives to work.
“Others make the point that bans on bringing one’s personal life into work time are a bit rich when companies now harness the internet to such effect that employees can never entirely escape from work.”
The article also points out that the conflict between social networking and employment predates the techhnology that brought with it social networking sites. It shows that social networking – company golf days for example – has been an important part of business life for a very long time.