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1 day a week on Social Media!

1 day a week on Social Media!

As most will know the amount of work time staff spend on social media is on an increasing trend. One survey revealed that this amounts to 1 day a week!

This is an area I have been thinking about a lot lately. The options are:

1) Restrict the use of social media during lunch times and after working hours (5pm). This was in place in my last job. It worked.

2) Total ban on social media in work place

3) do nothing and trust your staff.

As a small growing business how do you handle this? My preference is for option 1. Where can I buy the software at an affordable price that would allow me to do this? Is this the way to go?



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13th Dec 2012 09:06

Why do staff now need to play with social media during working hours? It should be kept for out of work time. Regrettably I have to agree with Option 1 but I'm not aware of any software that helps enforce it. Your problem's going to come when you make the rule and it's disobeyed. Employment laws aren't much help and how many instances make a disciplinary offence 

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By Jimess
13th Dec 2012 09:18

Office policy

My office policies forbid the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc on the office computers apart from sites like accountingweb and taxweb that we all access from time to time.  If they want to access other social media sites in their lunch breaks then they just use their own iphones. 

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13th Dec 2012 09:43

I would go for Option 2 and install software to block attempts to log on to Facebook etc. Option 1 would be nice in principal but I doubt you get software that un blocks itself for lunch time. If you openly allow them to use Facebook even in lunch time, you get the next problem where staff call each other or even your firm which is a huge head ache to monitor and deal with. We use the blocking software and despite it been installed for 18 months we get about 50 attempts per week to try and log on to facebook, twitter etc.

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13th Dec 2012 10:54

Blocking software

Thank you for the response all.


Sorry Glennzy, I should ask and not tell - would you mind providing any details on social media blocking software?  


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By Monsoon
13th Dec 2012 11:10

Open DNS

I used it a while ago when  I was on my own and trying to be more productive. It didn't work - I just kept logging in and unblocking facebook, haha.

I'm pretty sure it was OpenDNS that I used... I will try and remember if it was something else.


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13th Dec 2012 11:22

Access is everywhere

To be honest, with mobiles / i-phones etc. etc. if an employee wants to access social media during work time then there are a number of ways in which they can do so, and blocking acces on your company PC will not make a difference.

I do believe in having guidelines and procedures etc. but as you only have one employee this can in reality be using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  eg. the employee may be contacting their mates to discuss last nights party, or they may be checking on the welfare of a family member who is ill (and therefore your employee would need support and understanding rather than a telling off !).

It would be much better to select the right staff, give them the right training, give them guidelines with regards to what you expect from them (and what they can expect from you) and then trust them.

If you are unable to trust them is it because you do not have the right employee or is it your own issue ?

Given the size of your business, would it be preferable to look at using an outsourced off-site accountant/book keeper for a fixed fee per job so that you do not have any of these HR/empluyment issues to worry about ?




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13th Dec 2012 12:43

Blocking access

A place I worked at had a 'approved websites' policy, whereby you could access 'anything' before and after work, as well as at lunch.  However at other times you could only access white listed pages, and this started as a short list that you could expand if you could make a case for needing the site.

I adored it, it was about 3 days before I worked out a way around it and it was the most fun I have ever had at work!  I didn't even go on the internet in work time you understand, it was just there was a wall and I had to climb it...

So you can make it so staff can't get onto the internet, but that doesn't mean your staff won't go on the internet ;)

But I agree that staff shouldn't be using personal sites in work time.

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13th Dec 2012 15:45

Web Defender

the Stuff we use is called web defender. it comes with a standard 6000 or so banned sites and you can add any additional one to the list if you Admin rights to alter it.

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13th Dec 2012 16:09

be flexable

when it comes down to it, is the employee doing a good job, performing their duties and getting teh work done. If they are them being flexible about such things is good for moral adn shows that you trust them.

If you find that they are not performing then identify this as an area or problem and work with them to get back on track.

Is results that matter not worrying about what they are doing every minute of the day.

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17th Dec 2012 07:21

My thoughts

1 - Are we all agreed as to what counts as a social media site? Many people would include Linkedin which I prefer thinking of as an online business networking site. And that's certainly how I use it.

2 - It's probably not just social media sites you want to stop your staff accessing during working hours. There are plenty of other non-work related websites that staff may access. Some with video feeds. What about news junkies? TV soap junkies? Staff planning their nights out? Those with health issues? Sports fans? Those looking for a new job (on job sites - or, on Linkedin, which they otherwise use for lead generation etc) The list goes on and on.

3 - What about access achieved via their personal smart-phones? over 3G, 4G or the phone system or via your wifi connection? So many options. What about personal phone calls? Long ones vs short ones?

4 - Surely what REALLY matters is whether staff are focused on working or on personal matters during working hours. What do you about those who start early and finish late but spend 20 mins on non-work websites during the day?

5 - If you can't trust the staff working for you in a professional office you need to review your recruitment, appraisal and promotion policies.

6 - Any changes you make to their terms and conditions probably need checking with an employment lawyer.

I wrote a couple of blog posts last year on other related points that may help firms thinking about their social media policies.



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17th Dec 2012 10:10

Option 2.

Also, as regards 'personal phones' ....not allowed at desk.

Job done.


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