Imagine there is one phone in your office. It sits on a pedestal in the middle of the floor. It is always on speakerphone. Next to the phone is a Very Large Man. He listens to everything you say. He will scream at you if you conversation doesn’t seem productive enough. Keep it up, and the Very Large Man will fire you.
Could you be productive in such an office? Could you be creative? Could you be happy? Of course not. Yet 54% of U.S. companies with more than 100 employees are still willing to ban social network access, according to a study by Robert Half Technology. Yes, you could use social technologies to waste time. But you could also use those same technologies to do your job better — just like the phone.
If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “that’s fine for marketing, but the rest of our employees would only be screwing around,” you’re wrong. First, in 2010, we’re all part-time marketers. Whenever you open your mouth (or your browser) you’ve got a chance to help improve your company’s image.
Social technologies also have plenty of uses apart from marketing:
- If you’re a salesman, use your online network to find new leads.
- If you’re an engineer, use an internal wiki to collaborate.
- If you’re in HR, use social networks to monitor worker morale or field questions from employees.
- If you’re in customer service, use it to find unhappy customers and find a way to make them smile.
Everyone can get something out of having access to a social network. The trick is getting the boss to see the light. You could try showing them this post or any number of other arguments from SmartBrief on Social Media. But that might not quite do the trick. Maybe you should try moving their phone to the center of the floor and taping down the speed dial button. Just make sure you’ve got a Very Large Man standing by.
How can workers best convince their bosses to accept the need for social network access? Anyone have a great success story they’d like to share? Is there a defense for banning social network access at the office I’m not thinking of?
Image credit, gulfix, via iStock