Should I ban my staff using social networking sites?


Dear Aunty B,


We work in large open-plan office and I see myself as more of a team leader than a boss. But increasingly my staff will make excited noises while staring at their computers and it is not because we have just landed a customer or done another deal. It is because one of their friends has just landed a job in London. Or another friend is coming home from overseas early. Or another friend has just posted a photo with their arm around some popstar and they like to announce it to the office.


I just read about Kerry Stokes’ business banning employees from accessing online networking sites and I would love to do that, too. However, I also read about all these management experts who say staff will leave.


What do you think? And I would love to know if any of your readers blocked access and what was the attitude of their employees.


Thanks Aunty B.



Dear Great Team Leader,


Am I glad I don’t work in your office! Because your job, boss, is to make sure hard-working staff don’t have to listen to the rubbish that comes from nit-wit employees who spend most of their time on Facebook! Really! You need to come to your senses.


As for those management experts who say staff will leave if you crack down on their use of social networking … has the world gone mad? Who wants Facebook addicts anyway? Let the management experts employ them.


If I were a hard-working employee and was constantly interrupted by a colleague with the latest antics on travelling friend, I would expect my boss – sorry – Great team Leader to take action.


On the other hand, if hard-working staff spend a small amount of time on networking sites or email organising personal events, then what’s the problem? People work long hours: they cannot run their households without a few calls and emails during the day as, unfortunately, most service providers are part of the nine-to-five Industrial Age.


So Great Team Leader, lead your team. Remind them that emails and computer use is monitored. Have a few words to the main offenders and give them a pile of work as they are obviously not busy enough. Rev up your managers to keep a closer eye on the situation. And lead by example.


Set the culture that encourages staff to work hard but with the flexibility for some time management of their personal lives. After all, it is always about balance.


What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!


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