Social Networking and Office Productivity

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Whether it is Second Life, MySpace, YouTube, FaceBook or the other online sites that have been built around the concept of community they have one thing in common: they generally aren’t appreciated by office managers who see these as the ultimate time wasters. And while watching a video on YouTube during a break might not seem like a big deal, these can seriously hurt the bottom line. But on the flip side can social networking actually be good for business?

We continue our discussion with David Kelleher, GFI communications and research analyst, on the role of security and how it affects productivity in a small to medium sized business.

Bright Hub: Social networking is something that we think of as being strictly an “after hours” deal. But many companies are turning to sites such as Second Life and MySpace to connect. So do you think that social networking can help office productivity?

David Kelleher: There are two schools of thought. Some organizations argue that social networks are a waste of time as employees spend company time browsing, chatting and updating their online profiles, while others point out that social networking sites can be great a marketing tool to target a huge audience.

BH: So how can this be used in the office space?

DK: As with general Internet browsing, administrators need to find a balance. One option is to allow access to social networking sites solely before and after office hours or during the lunch break. Social networking sites can increase productivity if they are used solely to sell the organization to a new, untapped market. If social networking sites are used by employees to chat, change their profile image and add their 1,000th friend, they are a waste company time and resources, contribute to a reduction in productivity as well as a possible security threat via social engineering and phishing.

This post is part of the series: Office Productivity Concerns and Security

David Kelleher, communications and research analyst at GFI’s GFISecurityLabs tells you can have a safe, secure office without compromising productivity.

  1. Office Productivity Concerns and Security: Part 1
  2. Office Productivity Concerns and Security: Part 2
  3. Office Productivity Concerns and Security: Part 3