Many firms do not allow their employees to use any social media while at work. The companies worry that employees may be distracted and even engage in communications that will not reflect well on the companies.

So, what do YOU think: Should Facebook be banned at work?

Consider these observations from Stephanie Vozza, writing for Entrepreneur: “The work environment has drastically changed over the last few decades and as more people spend their work days in front of a computer, more employers want to make sure those hours aren’t spent on social media. Liking, sharing and commenting aren’t allowed in one out of five workplaces as many employers block access to Facebook on company computers, finds New York-based research firm Statista.

Click on this chart to read more.


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36 Replies to “Is Banning Facebook at Work a Good Or Bad Idea?”

  1. None of this solves anything. They are simply putting a band-aid on a problem. Ban Facebook, people start using Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Remove internet access, people will socialize and twiddle their thumbs. Maybe the job should be more intuitive and hands on instead of repeatedly doing the same thing on a metaphorical assembly line expecting people to be 100% focused on the assigned task.

  2. If you are a part of any social media network, you know how addicting it can get. I strongly believe that logging onto facebook is like logging out of wherever you are. Although I do believe breaks are necessary to encourage productivity and creativity, I do think that by preventing people from getting lost on their social media networks, it will encourage people to spend their breaks doing other things. Maybe it will promote employee bonding which may in turn lead to better teamwork.

  3. I believe that banning social media in the work place is a bad idea. Not only does it show mistrust of employees, it also shows how a company isn’t adapting technologically. A company would be better off if it found out ways to incorporate social media, that way the employees have it in there day but aren’t tempted to go behind employers backs to use it or stay on it for an extended period. If a company has different sites to help promote their business through social media, it kind of hits two birds with one stone. I also believe that if a company found other ways to keep the day interesting and the moral high, employees would have a much lower rate of actually using different social media sites.

  4. Putting a ban on Facebook would not solve anything. Employees would find ways around it simply by either going on their smart phone, which would take their focus away from the computer completely, or they would turn to another source of social media that can even be worse at work. Although Facebook is distracting, I think that our generation has found ways to work with it or along side of it. We do our homework while Facebook is up, we talk to people while looking at Facebook, its just becoming a habit. Im not saying that it is necessarily a good habit, but im saying that banning it won’t really make a difference in work ethic.

  5. It is really hard to ban a social network for anyone. Just because you block it on their computer doesn’t mean they aren’t turning to their Iphones and logging on through there. Sadly there is no way to stop a worker from going onto a social media. I guess it is up to the company to decide whether to accept and advance from this issue or continue to try and solve the problem. Personally companies should just learn to accept social media in their workers’ lives. If it is not effecting their work then it shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, if a worker seems to be slacking due to their lack of focus then maybe it is time to have a meeting about it. But just going and banning Facebook will not solve anything.

  6. I think that Facebook is one of the most distracting social medias sites that is used in the workplace, but there are plenty of other distracting things that happen in a work environment that do not relate to social media. I find it ineffective for firms to ban Facebook and other social media sites from their employees because they can in no way ban all of the other distractions. Workers cannot spend all of their time dedicated to actual work. The human mind needs diversions and interaction to help it re-energize on a particular goal. Social media sites, like Facebook, are a way for employees to unwind, gather their thoughts, and sometimes even generate new ideas. For some people, banning social media breaks would be equivalent to banning coffee or bubbler breaks. I don’t think that corporate banning of social media is a good idea, but at the same time, I do not condone monopolizing your time at work by using social media. An employee who abuses the lenient system should be reprimanded, but not all workers using social media abuse the system.

  7. I recently worked as an administrator, and would often run out of things to do. When this would happen, I would go on social media through my phone or just text people. I was told by my boss and a co-worker to never go on Facebook on my computer because “the boss might pass by and start asking questions.” Every time I had nothing to do, my immediate supervisor would try her best to find me work to do and my co-workers would tell me to “look busy” at my desk. I think they were all okay with me using my phone and going on Facebook when I had nothing to do but didn’t want to say that out loud and wanted to keep it on the down low. However, I think ONLY banning Facebook is a good idea because it can make you very unproductive and distract you (speaking from personal experience at work). It slows you down. It’s only OK if you have nothing to do and you’re forced to stay til 5pm.

  8. I feel that banning social media at the work place is unnecessary in that it shows a lack of trust in an employee. Secondly, it is as if the employees are seen as high school students in that social media is usually banned in secondary school, we left high school and went to college to be treated as an adult in the real world not to be treated as a teenager all over again. Thirdly, if one values there job highly they are not going to spend all eight hours at work on social media.

  9. I agree that banning social media in the work place sounds like a good idea, however I do not feel that the ban would have a successful conclusion. It is very easy for employees to access social media on other devices besides the work computers, such as their cell phones, therefore the ban would not be effective. I do also believe though that it is disrespectful and unprofessional to use your work computer for personal reasons. Even if social media wasn’t banned it still shouldn’t be used.

  10. I think that blocking social media in the workplace is a way of refusing to adapt. The world is changing. Social media is becoming an important tool when it comes to gathering and sharing information. This may be useful to some businesses. I really think that companies should begin to put more trust in their employees. If someone is truly spending too much time on sites like Twitter and Facebook, their work will reflect that and they will have to take responsibility. It is in their hands. Maybe those who would rather ‘favorite” and “like” are better off working somewhere else.

    But when it comes down to it, I think that companies need to adapt more and try to accept social media in some way. Maybe they could find a way to incorporate social media into the workplace. This mostly goes for Twitter. Twitter has evolved into such an amazing tool. In the past, the public received information. Today, they USE it. I think that many professional companies can (and should) take advantage of this shift.

  11. I believe that as employers begin to ban social media in the workplace, they are indicating a distrust of their employees. When an worker attempts to visit a website at work and it is blocked, he/she feels controlled and untrusted by their boss, and workplace morale goes down. If an employee simply isn’t getting his/her work done, then the issue may need to be addressed by management, but if the employee was hired because of their qualifications and is executing their job to the standards expected of them, then there should be no issue of what websites they can or can not visit while on the job.

  12. Banning Facebook in the workplace is not a good idea. While it certainly is one of the most distracting forms of social media, I think employees need some kind of interaction outside the workplace every once in a while. I agree 100% with the notion that restricting Facebook access gives a sense of mistrust. Employees should have a welcoming and friendly work environment. Not one that makes workers feel trapped. Small breaks throughout the day allow for higher productivity!

  13. We can all agree that social media can be distracting, but it is not a good idea to ban it in the workplace. I work for Student Employment on campus, and while Facebook was a distraction at certain times, it also helped me earn a few brownie points from my boss! After answering numerous phone calls over the summer from freshman students asking how to find jobs on campus, how to apply, etc. I noticed on Facebook there is a special group that is just for incoming freshman at Hofstra, and students post many questions on a variety of issues. One of the many concerns on the group was how to find information on job postings, and how to apply. I would ask my boss when certain jobs would be posted, and I would post on the freshman group that information during my work hours. As soon as I started posting information on Facebook, my manager noticed a decrease in phone calls from freshman students asking questions about jobs. When I told her what I did, she thanked me for the idea, and even encouraged me to post more information on Facebook!

    While this does not apply to every job, companies and managers need to realize that social media is a big part of todays society, and banning the websites will not be productive.

  14. I Don’t believe banning Facebook in the workplace to be a good idea. To force workers to be come 100% on task all the time is going to get them to not do their best work. Workers need a little mental break here and there to be truly productive. Also the only time i feel workers should be penalized in regard to distractions such as Facebook is if they are not finishing their work efficiently and on a timely basis.

  15. I think that using any social media at work is a bad idea. I think that employees should be able to use it in their free time of course, or when they are on a lunch break etc. but it can be very distracting while you are trying to get something accomplished.

  16. I do agree that spending time on social media websites instead of doing your job is completely inappropriate. Companies pay their employees to do work, not to socialize. However, as mentioned in the article, I do think that everyone needs breaks in which they can relax their mind and refresh themselves; social media can do just that. Facebook, twitter, instagram etc can put the mind at ease and allow employees to unwind for a little bit. This way, when they return to work they will be renewed and ready to go. Social medias should be privileges that employees have the right to use on their breaks. However, employees should not be allowed to abuse this power by logging onto social media websites during their working hours. If employers and employees can agree on a balanced system, it will be their key to success.

  17. I agree with a couple of the previous comments that Facebook does allow people to take a mental break. It can also be a great tool for marketing because it allows you to network and see people’s interests. Firms should consider using social media to attract a stronger network. As for workers, as long as you are staying on track, I think Facebook is okay. But, you have to have will power. I personally work better when I have slight distractions like music/TV on in the background. It all depends on the person.

  18. Banning Facebook at work doesn’t accomplish anything. People find ways around these bans all the time. I do believe that people need a mental break while at work, but if you aren’t responsible enough to understand that work comes before social media then you shouldn’t be logging on to any social media website while at work. If however you have 15 minutes of downtime and feel like unplugging then go for it. People are attached to their smartphones and social media, in all honesty it’s hard not to become attached. Even if you press refresh ten times in a minute and nothing changes, it’s something that this generation can’t live without. I work at a hospital and I find it upsetting when I see the nurses and doctors glued to their phones or staring at Facebook on the computer. Peoples lives depend on doctors and nurses and it’s hard seeing firsthand that a patient isn’t getting the care they should be getting because the nurse/doctor is socializing instead of doing their job.

  19. I know I am not the only one who can log into Facebook to just check my notifications and get lost for hours scrolling through the endless and often pointless posts of my acquaintances. So why would businesses allow something like that to happen? I think the blocking of social media sites at work is a completely fair action to take. It is inappropriate for an employee to waste the time that they are being paid for on Facebook. Unless your job for the company specifically involves the upkeep of their social media, there really is no need to have access to Facebook throughout your entire workday. I can understand where a few of the other comments are coming from saying that if there is down time during your work day that there is no issue. However, I believe that what you make a habit of in your down time can and will permeate into the time you need to work. Not to mention that looking at a phone constantly causes you to look unprofessional and inattentive. In all, banning Facebook is a good precaution for any kind of business to take.

  20. I do see why firms would ban Facebook because it is very distracting and can lead to procrastination, instead of getting work done, but I don’t think it should be banned. The thing is, today’s world is a new one. Facebook is a part of our lives and if they are hiring good employees, then Facebook shouldn’t really be a concern. If the worker can go online, plus get work done, well then they must be a pretty good employee. If firms are worried their employer will spend all their time online, then they don’t trust who they hire, and therefore, should consider hiring better people. This also shows that the firm is behind on social media. If they really detest Facebook or any social media enough to ban it, then this shows that they are not up to date to the modern world. Use Facebook to help the firm! Not ban it. I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal to let employees use Facebook at work.

  21. I think banning Facebook at work is a good idea. There is no reason a person should be on a social media sight while working. But, I do not believe this ban will be effective because these days everyone has a smart phone and will be able to access Facebook on their phone. This is more of a ethical issue companies will be facing in the future. Their employees should do the right thing and focus more on work than such social media sights.

  22. I believe that banning Facebook at work is a good thing. You go to work to work, not to go on social media (unless its part of your work). With the introduction of social media and the strong impact that it has on the majority of the population, people have become addicted to these social media sites, and as a result, the younger generation today is lazier than it has ever been. In order to get people to do the right thing, restrictions must be placed on social media sites in order for companies to get their employees to be the most productive that they can be.

  23. Employees should be free to access Facebook anytime they want, but not at the cost of their own productivity. If they are getting their work done in a timely matter, why should it matter if they are occasionally checking Facebook, Twitter, etc. Employees are going to begin to feel unhappy in the workplace if they are being told what and what not to do. They should be trusted to not abuse social media. However, if deadlines are not met by a particular employee, and a manager notices that they may be spending too much time on social media , then actions should take place for that particular employee to not be trusted to use social media in the workplace. Just because one person may be abusing social media, does not mean that all employees are and it is unfair to ban it for everyone when it can actually be helpful and relieve stress. Instead of banning social media, employers should set high productivity goals, have regular performance reviews, and reward those employees with high performances. By doing this, employers reinforce their core productivity values while, at the same time, avoiding the issue of making their employees unhappy by trying to control every moment of their working lives.

  24. I don’t believe banning Facebook is a good idea. Like the article mentions, naturally humans can’t function 8 hour shifts of just straight working. People need breaks and I feel if someone chooses to go on Facebook as a break from their work then they should be able to do so. On the other hand if work deadlines are not being met due to the use of Facebook then there should definitely be a ban introduced.

  25. I believe that banning social media in the workplace is not a good idea for many reasons. First and foremost, in the age we live in today people are constantly connected to social media sites. Blocking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc isn’t smart because it will tempt and make employees want to go on these sites even more knowing that their employer doesn’t trust them on. The sites can easily be accessed on other devices such as a cell phone or tablet. I’m not saying that workers should sit on Facebook and scroll through their news feed for hours instead of working, but these are adults we’re talking about. Employers hired these people knowing that they are capable of the job that needs to be done so lets have a little faith in them and not treat employees like children. Obviously if using social media during work hours becomes a major issue, that is when restrictions can be applied.

  26. I personally think that Facebook should be banned from computers in the workplace because it is a big distraction to the employees. Even though the employees aren’t in high school and should be trusted to make decisions for themselves it should still be done. When I worked as a marketing intern in New York City they did not block any websites but they could see what the employees are looking at on the computers at all times. So weather you were doing work, watching television shows, on Facebook or watching porn the company could see and they do sometimes call the employees out on it. Even though the company should trust you, everyone is going to slack off sometimes if they have the chance. Thats why I think it is better to ban these sites.

  27. I feel that banning Facebook in the workforce is a bad idea. People access Facebook through there phones and tablets so there is no real control over that. Most jobs have an 8 hour work day and it is hard to concentrate for 8 straight hours. Facebook can also bring a workforce together because it is very easy to socialize with fellow employees. This can help develop relationships in the workforce and make work a friendly atmosphere.

  28. I think if your job involves having to use social media it is more than okay to use social media, however, I think if someone at work is on social media that doesn’t pertain to their job, it can become a distraction not only for yourself but your employees as well. It can effect your work because the more you are on social media, the less work you do and the more stressed you can become.

  29. I do not think that banning social networking websites during work is a good thing. Like it was said in the article it is a good stress reliever for some employees instead of going to take a smoking break. It may also be able to be used as a motivation tool, such as if they complete their tasks they can spend some time chilling out before they start the next one so they are refreshed and put in the effort they need to do their best. By banning the usage or heavily monitoring it they are not encouraging an open environment, and I think that until the problem is pinpointed to the use of social networking. After that than to resolve the issue it should be banned or strictly limited.

  30. I think that banning Facebook at work is a very smart idea. Facebook is very distracting. In fact, I have it open right now. However, I am still able to ignore it and do my work. The difference between school and an actual job is quite different. If I have Facebook open while I am sitting at my desk doing schoolwork, I can take a mental break and then just search Facebook. If you are at work, you have a specific job to do and should not be distracted by your friend or family member’s status update. I think that Facebook would be banned on all work and office computers, school laptops, and school computers that are IN A CLASSROOM. Our families are paying an average of about $50,000 a year for us to go here and learn. Not to be on our laptops searching Facebook and commenting on what your friend did the night before.

  31. I believe that banning Facebook at work is a terrible idea! This is not to say that workers should be using it on company time, but banning it is just babyish. If a worker is going to be checking Facebook all day long, the odds are that said worker is not a good worker and is unlikely to be with the company for the long-haul anyway. By not banning it and allowing workers to choose on their own if they are going to use it or not will speak volumes about who really is devoted to the company and who isn’t.

  32. Banning social medis sounds like a good idea, but I think that people will just find other ways of getting around it. People will spend more time going on their phones, or tablets, and not focusing on their homework. Social media is everywhere, and i feel that it will be harder to stop as the years go on. This especially true for our generation where we use social media in everything we do, and are constantly checking for new information. I know that in my mother’s job, they block facebook, and twitter. My mom can just go on her iPad and use the app from there, and she still gets her work done and on time. I think that social media can have a bad stigmatism in the workplace, but for jobs in fields such as Public Relations, there is a constant need to use social media sites. Social media sites in the workplace can also bring the office together. People can facebook message each other to check up on how they are doing on a project, and this can be used to just ask a quick question which will take 30 seconds rather than a few minuets.

  33. This may depend on the workplace. While is some cases, the use of Facebook and social media can be used to promote companies, it can probably also come as a huge distraction. As a student, I at times wish I had someone to “block” Facebook for me when I am studying so I am not tempted to take “breaks” or procrastinate and loose focus. I’m sure the same idea probably holds true in the work place as well.

  34. Being on most social medias, I can definitely understand the reason why they would want to ban the use of them at work. But in my opinion, it all depends on the atmosphere of the workplace. For example, in a retail store where these employees must engage customer’s one on one and actually need to help them, they shouldn’t be on any sort of social media. I especially know that from working in retail and seeing my co-workers always on their phones every chance they get. But when it comes to a job where you have a lot more downtime and you aren’t as busy all the time, why block the social media? It just seems unnecessary to me.

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