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The Debate Over Social Media at the Office

Candid talk from both sides about using cell phones and social media in the office

This story appears in the March 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Smartphones, personal digital assistants, texting, blogs, social media. They're all part of the workplace now, and how companies deal with them is a direct reflection of their corporate culture. Some encourage employees to hop on Twitter and Facebook, to help build their brand online and take advantage of viral marketing. But there are more businesses concerned with lost productivity, security risks and distracted workers on the job, and they are inclined to cutting off access to social media or banning the use of personal technology in the office entirely.

In interviews with more than 1,400 chief information officers, Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm, found that 54 percent banned employee access to social media sites. Some workers jump on the sites only at work, the research firm Nucleus IT found, and spend as much as two hours a day on them.

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