Web 2.0 or 1984 – which way is right?
Interesting survey with Orwellian conclusions that need some thought. First the survey.
Survey Results highlights:
- 87 percent of office workers access Web 2.0 sites each week, with 63 percent accessing the sites one or more times a day;
- 51 percent of office workers spend one or more hours a week using and accessing Web 2.0 sites when at work;
- 46 percent of office workers have discussed work-related issues on social media websites;
- 71 percent of office workers use Web-based email at work for personal reasons; and
- 50 per cent of office workers believe that employees should be entitled to access Web 2.0 Internet content from their work computer for personal reasons.
Source: Clearswift / News & Events
Next, here are examples of the sites in question –
More than 71 percent of office workers use Web-based email at work for personal reasons, and it was also the Web application used most often, 22 percent, for discussing work-related issues. Another 46 percent regularly access Wikipedia during work hours, while YouTube, Flickr, instant messaging and blogs are also popular destinations and services accessed using work computers.
Some thoughts for consideration before policies are created will follow. At the core of this, I believe we have to consider employee productivity, and morale. If productivity is high, the use of such tools might actually be a good thing?
But I equally fear a totalitarian crack down eliminating access to certain web applications, such as one Canadian Bank that I know does not allow access to web mail. This kind of thing sends a certain message about the corporation, and their willingness to follow their employees as they move into the web lifestyle. [Perhaps we should only permit telephone calls to pre-approved phone numbers, using a simple paper based, in triplicate of course, approval system 🙂 ]
I also know some people choose to do such activities during the 1.5 hours of a day that are theoretically devoted to lunch and coffee breaks, and that a certain percentage of those activities are seeking work related answers.
Some questions to consider …
- Whats the department morale level at?
- How do you feel about employees productivity?
- What is the percentage of employees that you believe have productivity issues?
- Have you spoken to employees about this?
- how did you manage employees phone calls with friends previous to today, and have those reduced?
- How many ladies magazines did you permit in their desk drawers in the 80’s?
- Why are staff accessing Wikipedia? Is that work related?
- How much work do these staff do at home?
- To what extent is work and personal time spread over the entire day?
- and the real question …… are you only considering a policy change because you don’t see the value in … [ enter Web app of choice ]?