Facebook is a time waster – so why not ban it TUC?

I know Facebook is a timewaster. I could have used many hours more productively over the last couple of months, but instead I install apps, answer facile quizzes, and then uninstall apps. Using Facebook can smack of that guilt you get when you start smoking after a week of quitting: the guilt of futility.
facebook-logoIn theory then this post should be all about telling the TUC to shut up with this intervention to encourage employers to allow Facebook at work. But that’s not what I think.

If you run a business you need to ask yourself a couple of simple questions:

  1. Do well connected staff help my business thrive? – If yes then find ways to embrace social networking as part of your work. After all you wouldn’t want to stop a sales team using LinkedIn would you?
  2. Which is more interesting the work or Facebook? Please try and make sure the work is more stimulating than hours of guilty futility

That’s business – what if you you run something as substantial as a local authority. Kent has blocked facebook for its staff? For public sector organisations I’d still point them to the two questions above and ask them to consider two more:

  1. Do we have a responsibility to bring out neighbourhoods into the 21st Century? If so any policy which is built on constraining internet use should be challenged. Most local authorities are major employers – their attitude to the possibilities of the web influence how households, schools, parents and children flourish or fail online.
  2. How good are we at managing our people? Time wasting at working is often more about poor management than it is about distractions on the desk top.

Nevill Hobson as written two or three post about this (check the links at the bottom of this post). To his thoughts (and these at Mashable) I would add don’t go all King Canute. When a wave as powerful as Facebook hits your organisation work out how to ride it because the price of stopping it to be higher than you think.

TUC Guide to Online Social Networks.