Figures from Telstra Business and MessageLabs show that Australian businesses are cracking down on their employees accessing social networking sites.
Most employers are blocking sites in order to reduce the loss of productivity that can result when workers spend too much time during the working day ‘poking', ‘tweeting' and updating. The increased use of bandwidth and internet is also a factor.
The increased move to block social networking is timely: recent research from Nielsen shows that social networking in the workplace is more popular than emailing.
According to a review of web-usage trends of Australian small and medium enterprises;
- 6000 attempts to access social networking sites are blocked each day, compared with 2000 a day 10 months ago;
- the total number of URLs "blocked" by organisations has jumped by 193 per cent since January, the majority of which are social networking sites;
- the total number of URLs or website addresses "allowed" has been slashed by 58 per cent since January.
"If an employee spends as much as an hour a day on Facebook, it can end up costing a business thousands of dollars in lost time over the course of a year," Telstra Business Executive Director Brian Harcourt said.
"There is a clear need for formal policies on the use of social networking sites in the workplace and the appropriate and effective software tools that support those policies," Mr Harcourt said.