Another article that I wish I’d written first. Ochman’s post is right-on. Read the full article here. The short version iof Ochman’s Five reasons companies should allow social networking is:

  1. Resistence is futile – They already have access to social networking sites no matter what you do. Even the Department of Defense has given up on trying to close every avenue.
  2. They’ll find other way’s to waste time regardless – It’s human nature. Always has been, always will be.
  3. Social networks actually can make workers more productive – This one is a little more controversial but there is some compelling research about reading, writing and other cognitive skills.
  4. You’ll miss great ideas – Concentration and increased connectivity has always led to greater creativity and sharing of new ideas. It’s why cities have always been the hotbeds of innovation – not because rural people are stupid, they’re just not exposed to the same pace of new ideas to steal from and build on. Social networking does the same but without the need for shared geography.
  5. Employees are more trustworthy than companies think – Not everyone believes in this philosophy but it’s true in my experience. A few bad apples are not reason to impose draconian restrictions on the rest. If you do have employees abusing the system, you’ve either hired the wrong people or failed to properly train the ones you have. Neither of those problems is solved by attempting to block social networking websites.

It’s not easy but the right answer is to be a leader. Set goals, clearly define your expectations, then stand back and let them do the job. And, yes, I know that’s harder than it sounds. That’s why it’s your job as the supervisor. Good luck.

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