facebook logoJust when we thought social media was taking off and changing businesses all over the world for the better, it appears that it may be taking a giant step backwards for many companies. According to a recent study, serious misuse and abuse of company time with social networking has caused quite the stir among CIOs around the world.

twitterAccording to eWEEK.com, CIOs across the board are taking a strong stand against any kind of social media usage during business hours. The survey, conducted by Robert Half Technology, surveyed 1,400 CIOs of companies with 100 or more employees. The results were startling, with more than 50% completely blocking employees from any kind of access to social networking sites at work.

According to the article, here are the highlights of how CIOs handle these sites on company networks:

  • Prohibited completely: 54%
  • Permitted for business purposes only: 19%
  • Permitted for limited personal use: 16%
  • Permitted for any type of personal use: 10%

The survey also gave some other alarming statistics, including that 8% of companies in the US have actually fired staff over the misuse of social media.

While it does make sense that employees should be working on company time rather than playing around on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, there are many marketing benefits that come along with their responsible usage.

But along with the many benefits of proper usage of social media within a business environment, there are also many issues that come along. Some of these issues include productivity, security hazards such as identity theft via social engineering and for smaller companies, bandwidth issues.

While these bans are useful in the eyes of many CIOs, the article brought up another good point about its limitations. With the increase usage of mobile Internet technology, will employees just turn from their computers to their phones and continue to Tweet during office hours? How far will companies have to go to keep their employees focused and productive and away from the alluring qualities of social networking during work?

While complete prohibiting of social media use seems a little extreme in my opinion, there are ways that companies could make sure employees set a time and a place to network. Limiting usage to breaks or lunch hours could be a possible solution. Making sure to keep the content of your pages appropriate is also an important factor to keep in mind. You want to remember that there really is no privacy in the social networking world, so tweet and Facebook accordingly (just not while you are at work).

To find out more about the study, read the full article here: Your CIO Doesn’t Want You Tweeting on Company Time