Ten years ago this week an unknown college dropout named Mark Zuckerberg launched an online social network called Facebook. As his invention now has well over a billion users, the question of how much we should use Facebook in the workplace is more relevant than ever.
As we recognize the 10th anniversary of Facebook, there are currently more than 1.23 billion Facebook users worldwide.
When you do the math, that’s about 26,000 Busch Stadiums full of people, 73 percent of whom admit to checking their Facebook at least once a day.
Chances are many of those people are on their Facebook while clocked-in at work, which leads to the question, “Should employers be allowed to use Facebook at work?”
I’ve noticed lately that at one of my jobs, specifically, every single one of my co-workers has their Facebook opened on a tab during work hours.
I understand it can be beneficial to some jobs that use Facebook as a tool to communicate with customers.
An example of this is that Missouri Baptist University’s freshman counselors have a separate Facebook account that allows them to “friend” their students to communicate and interact in a way that will best reach those students.
I found this shocking statistic from a survey conducted by Cisco : “40 percent of college students and 45 percent of young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.”
This alarming statistic speaks to the value we place on our social media, that nearly half of us would give up actual income in order to remain socially connected throughout the work day.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to allowing Facebook at work, namely, it can be a distraction from work. It is somewhat addictive, which causes some people to waste time on Facebook when they could be wiping the office furniture, replenishing paper in the printer, or organizing that stack of papers on their desk.
It is also unprofessional in the work field. When I meet with someone and notice their Facebook is opened on their laptop I am usually turned off immediately because I feel they are not completely devoted to spending their time meeting with me.
While Facebook certainly has its pros and cons, I think it is up to the user to decide whether or not it is appropriate to use during work because, in the end, it is a reflection on them and it can give them a reputation.