Survey shows most companies ban Twitter and Facebook on job

Social networking sites are very popular nowadays. If you don’t have a Facebook page, people may raise their eyebrows and ask you WHY? Facebook is a great venue to meet new friends and to stay in touch with old friends. Other companies even include Facebook as part of their marketing strategy.

But a recent survey developed by Robert Half Technology shows more than half (54 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said their firms do not allow employees to visit social networking sites for any reason while at work.

The survey is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “Which of the following most closely describes your company’s policy on visiting social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, while at work?” Their responses:

Prohibited completely…………………………. 54%
Permitted for business purposes only……….. 19%
Permitted for limited personal use…………. 16%
Permitted for any type of personal use……… 10%
Don’t know/no answer……………………… 1%
—–
100%

“Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”

Willmer cautioned that employees should always exercise good judgment, no matter how lenient their company’s policy. “Professionals should let common sense prevail when using Facebook and similar sites — even outside of business hours,” he said. “Regrettable posts can be a career liability.”

Robert Half Technology offers the following tips for protecting your professional reputation when using social networking sites:

– Know what’s allowed. Make sure you understand and adhere to your company’s social networking policy.

– Use caution. Be familiar with each site’s privacy settings to ensure personal details or photos you post can be viewed only by people you choose.

– Keep it professional. Use social networking sites while at work to make connections with others in your field or follow industry news — not to catch up with family or friends.

– Stay positive. Avoid complaining about your manager and coworkers. Once you’ve hit submit or send, you can’t always take back your words — and there’s a chance they could be read by the very people you’re criticizing.

– Polish your image. Tweet or blog about a topic related to your profession. You’ll build a reputation as a subject matter expert, which could help you advance in your career.

– Monitor yourself. Even if your employer has a liberal policy about social networking, limit the time you spend checking your Facebook page or reading other people’s tweets to avoid a productivity drain.

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