Facebook in the workplace – TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Admittedly, blogging about serious matters isn’t exactly my piece. I necessitate humor with opinion and entertainment to thoughts. My thinking normally leads to giggles, smiles and laughter. As in my previous blog posts, I prefer light, funny issues. It has become my personal medication, some form of anti-stress therapy. After all, keeping your sanity seems a tough task nowadays considering the toxicity that life so wonderfully offers. At this point however, I would like to challenge myself into doing some serious blogging for a change.

Parading towards the congress is a policy issue regarding the banning of Facebook in government agencies and offices nationwide during working hours. FB is a social networking site that is by definition a web-based, computer-mediated communication which allows users to:

1. Create a public or a semi-public profile within a bounded system.

2. Coordinate and manage a list of other users whom they share a connection.

3. View and visit their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

The proposal suggests that FB usage during work counters employee productivity and efficiency, thus, affecting overall organizational performance. The objective is to maximize time and effort so as to service the government’s publics’ needs.

The motion, in my opinion, is rather self-defeating. There is in fact no productivity or efficiency to counter when it is not even inherent and evident to begin with. Our government is the exact epitome of a bureaucratic organization – hierarchical, structured and centralized despite the changing times. Even in the absence of FB many years ago, government employees have been characterized as incompetent and highly problematic. The motion, then, better be about motivating employees, helping them realize their full potential, and rewarding them for their hardwork – the recipe for improving employee attitude towards work.

Low-compensation, heavy workload and routinary tasks result in disgruntled employees. Dehumanization in government agencies and offices is still existent.   FB is but one cost-effective avenue where peer to peer interaction is virtually possible and communication is of great convenience. Interpersonal relationships or networks may not entirely be supplemental to employee satisfaction however it can function as a coping mechanism in managing work-related stress.

Communication is fundamental in organizations. It is critical in achieving organizational goals and objectives. Any opportunity to widen communication lines and even extend across the distance should be of utmost utility rather than liability. Government offices should try and capitalize on FB rather than ban it. They should focus their attention on harnessing human communication, not in creating barriers to communication.

Self-regulation should best be the resolution to the issue. FB usage should be the prerogative of the respective government agencies and offices. Deliberating about FB in a macro level is all but a waste of time and effort. So TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN – is not the question.

  1. I totally agree. Though overuse of these social networking sites would cause some drawbacks, office employees should just personally regulate the frequency and length of use since these sites also offer work-related advantages. Among these advantages are that they help relieve stress and promote deeper relationship among colleagues.

  2. “So TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN – is not the question.”

    The question should be “how can we use Facebook to increase productivity?”

    It’s not true that Facebook can actually decrease productivity. In fact, it’s a great way of alleviating stress. Or if you’re already running out of gas or ideas, you just have to log on to Facebook, laugh at people’s status posts or tags, and even ask help from your friends on what to do with the freakin’ proposal.

    I think that it’s not Facebooking among employees that should be changed. What should be changed are employees attitudes towards work (if they’re lazy and unmotivated to begin with, it’s not Facebook’s fault that they’d rather play Farmville than work) and the company’s attitude towards Facebook (FB can be advantageous if they’d only be open enough to think about it).

  3. “So TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN – is not the question.”

    However, we must realize that many people in the government came from a generation who do not really understand the wonders that Facebook can do (i.e. provide employees time to relax when they’re already burned out). Another question that we should ask is “How do we convince government offices as well as companies that Facebook is not the problem?” Like Nadz, I believe that Facebook isn’t the problem. It’s the attitude of the employees towards work. If they don’t like what they’re doing and if they don’t have a sense of responsibility, they will find a way to escape may it be through Facebooking, cross stitching, or playing Solitaire.

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