Monday, July 27, 2009

Does use of Facebook kill productivity?

Companies effectively lose an average of 1.5 percent of total office productivity when employees access social networking sites like Facebook during work hours, a study has revealed.

The study by Boston IT advisory firm, Nucleus Research shows that nearly half of office employees access social networking sites such as Facebook during work. Moreover, one in every 33 workers built their entire Facebook profile during work. Nucleus interviewed 237 randomly selected office workers about their use of Facebook for the report.

It has been found that nearly 77 percent of workers have a Facebook account. The average worker uses it for 15 minutes a day, and 87 percent of those who access it couldn't define a clear business reason for using it. "Given that 61 percent of employees access Facebook at work, companies can reasonably estimate a cost of 1.5 percent of total employee productivity," the report said. The findings are significant especially since most companies are facing constricting bottom lines due to recession.

Nucleus Research Vice President (research) Rebecca Wettemann said, "If your company is facing tight margins and low profitability, as many are now, then how can you accept any work distractions that drain your overall productivity?"

However since most organizations do not monitor and manage these sites as closely as email, it opens up the potential to violate corporate communication policies. The report concludes that companies should evaluate their Facebook policy and the cost in productivity in allowing access to Facebook, as blocking the site may actually result in a 1.5 percent gain in productivity.

"While it won't make you popular, restricting Facebook can reclaim lost productivity. If your profitability is say two percent, this could be the difference between staying open or closing shop," Wettemann added.


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