Firms urged to embrace Facebook

GOOD news for workers addicted to Facebook, Bebo and MySpace — a leading think-tank urges bosses not to stop staff using social networking sites because they could actually benefit their firms.

The report by British-based Demos said encouraging employees to use networking technologies to build relationships and links with colleagues and customers may actually help businesses.

Author Peter Bradwell said while firms used specific systems to share information, online social networking sites could also play a role, helping with productivity, innovation and democratic working.

But he said there should be practical guidelines to limit non-work usage.

“Bans on Facebook or YouTube are almost impossible to enforce; firms may as well try to put a time limit on the numbers of minutes allowed each day for gossiping,” he wrote. “The answer is not to close staff access to social network platforms, nor is it investing blindly in collaborative platforms.

“We argue we need to understand how, once we accept the implications of social networks, we can manage the new challenges and trade-offs.”

His research concluded that trying to control the use of sites such as Facebook, which alone boasts more than 100 million users worldwide, could even harm organisations.


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