Yahoo! once published an article a couple of year back about how social media had taken a toll on productivity, which many companies took some really drastic actions on a global scale back then. However, with the mass migration of businesses to online, companies were forced to understand and accept that online activities does generate good leads and sales. For some, it is just a solace away from the rat race in between proposals or during breaks.
Due to pressure, the sanctions were taken off and the culture evolved further to what it is today. I summarized it as, if you are off-line, you are off-touch.
Let’s take a look at some interesting facts.
There was a company who recently blocked all social media sites and sites that are deemed to be “unauthorized”.
However, a big part of the company’s business is media and most of their clients commutes regularly via Facebook messages and stays connected with LinkedIn and post campaigns via Youtube. Very simple reason, their clients are on Facebook all the time and it is much easier to get a message across faster than your conventional email. Think this is ridiculous? Wait, This is not all, this company even blocked YouSendIt – a big role player for corporate communications for sending huge files in seconds and insisted their staff to use the company’s in house FTP which simply takes 2 times longer. Smart move? You decide.
Penalized for SPAM –
I laughed at how outdated some HR people can be. I was told there is a company who actually incorporated Spams from emails into a formal directive. SPAMs had evolved greatly too. From companies trying to sell you products & services to forwarded messages to scams to other unsolicited mails. Spammers are not stupid too. To get around email recognition software, Spams had taken a new face.
Some examples here.
You will receive spammed emails like “Your Monthly Statement is Ready for viewing”, when you read the content, it is an email encouraging you to subscribe to the company’s online statement service, but guess what? The staff may be penalized for “subscribing” to some “online statements” using their company’s email address. Who is at fault here?
Another top favourite is “XXXX wants to be your friend/ to be connected, etc”. This is very damaging especially if the IT department only reads the subject and not the content. Such emails usually are randomly sent from newer social B-sites that are trying to grow their users population. They basically spam everyone in the world. So what about the recipient? got penalized for using their office email address as their social log ins or worse, accused of using office hours to “chat” with online “friends”.
Strangely, those spams emails that came with subjects like “Enquiry”, “Product Enquiry”, “Quotation Request”, etc get passed the eagle eyes. Spammers are not stupid, they are uber creative.
Let me offer you what some of the below sites are really used for – in my industry at least.
Twitter – Announcing of new advertising campaigns – which translate into sales leads for advertisement sales.
Youtube – Airing of the latest TVC – which are a good source of research before meeting an advertiser.
Facebook – Instant communication, know more about my clients, find common topics & interests – good for meeting fillers, group communication between clients, ad agencies and the media owners all in one thread and general PR. My clients love it when I posted “Happy Birthday” on their walls. It is also good for checking up on new hires.
YouSendIt – The must-use file sending portal of today.
WordPress, Blogspot, etc – Resource rich sites that offers lots of information & images not found on companies’s websites.
MSN – Better than your email. You know, I know.
In my view, those companies who sees social sites as a threat to productivity are so yesteryears and many light years behind. They might as well block Google too.
(with iPhone, iPad, smart Tabs, more people will find other ways to access these sites. It simply takes longer and waste more time with the smaller screens. At least for those people who really needed a break from work are comforted).
Shutting off the employees from the above sites may be seen as a smart move, but seriously? Is it really working?