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EFFECTS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AT THE WORKPLACE

SUBMITTED BY: Ms. NISHAAT MUKADAM T.Y.B.A. (B) PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS ROLL NUMBER: 117 DATE: 1 AUGUST, 2010 NAME OF TEACHER: Ms. N.K. JYOTHI SIGNATURE:

TABLE OF CONTENTS Sr. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Contents
Abstract Learning Introduction Literature Survey Aim of the Field Study Description of the Procedure Display and Description of Results Discussion Conclusion Recommendations Ways to Improve My Project Interview Case Study Analysis of Articles Incidental Observation and Trivia Bibliography

Page No. 02 03 04 05 08 11 14 18 20 21 22 23 25 26 28 29

ABSTRACT The use of social networking tools like Facebook, MySpace and Ning while at work is somewhat controversial. Some say its a useful tool to help co-workers develop meaningful professional and personal ties allowing them to function more effectively as a team. Others fear that employees waste their time on these web sites, costing their organization thousands of dollars in lost productivity. A number of studies have been conducted on the issue of social networking sites, some in favour of the use of such sites and others against the use of such sites at the workplace. The aim of this project is to find out whether the use of social networking sites in the office facilitates productivity of the employees and reduces stress levels and employee satisfaction or not. I constructed a questionnaire for this purpose and gave it to 40 people in different organizations to fill out. The results of the survey didnt fall in any particular direction either in favour or against the use of social networking sites.

LEARNINGS Doing this project has been a really great learning experience for me. I got to read in detail different studies and surveys conducted on social networking sites, both for and against its use in an organization. This gave me a more detailed understanding of how important the issue of social networking sites is, not only for the present, but for the future as well. Through my survey, I was able to learn about the different social networking sites and peoples opinions about whether they think its use should be permitted or not in the work place. I gained great experience going to different kind of organizations and getting them to fill my surveys. I got to see different work cultures, which were very interesting. Doing the survey helped me to improve on my communication skills as I had to explain to those filling out my survey what the survey was about, what the aim of my project was, and had to answer any questions or any doubts that any of them had. I also learnt how to make a questionnaire and how to analyze the results. I realized that though the survey is a simple method of gaining information about large numbers of people in a short amount of time, it is not a completely accurate form of gathering data. It is difficult to tell whether the people are being completely honest or whether they are influenced by other people around them. The project also helped me to learn how to make pie charts and tables and how to interpret them. Thus, this project has helped me in understanding the practicality of implementing a topic in psychology along with its theoretical knowledge.

INTRODUCTION Social Networking. . . It's the way the 21st century communicates today. Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online. This is because unlike most high schools, colleges, or workplaces, the internet is filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people, to gather and share first-hand information and experiences about different hobbies and interests, developing friendships or professional alliances, finding employment, business-to-business marketing etc. Old-fashioned social networking was all about exchanging business cards, keeping a Rolodex of important phone numbers and making sales calls. The internet-focused age has brought about big changes in the ways businesses can reach their consumer base. The use of social networking sites is one such way for companies to establish a community and, perhaps, reach a broader and younger audience. Social networking software and sites such as Twitter and Facebook make information immediately available and facilitate a social networking community. The growth of social networking platforms has been phenomenal. Millions of people around the world with access to the Internet are members of one or more social networks. They have a permanent online presence where they create profiles, share photos, share their thoughts with friends and spend hours catching up with what their hundreds of friends are doing with their lives. We live in a world where technology has changed the way people communicate, the way they are informed and how they do business. Traditional social networks have expanded from a few dozen acquaintances to hundreds of friends, friends of friends, connections and followers. In the 21st century, people would rather communicate by sending a text message from their mobile phone, post comments on their favorite online network or send a short Tweet to inform all their friends that they have just gotten out of bed or they are out for dinner. The reason I chose this topic was that this is a problem that has just started affecting organizations and will continue to do so in the future as well because the use of the internet to communicate is becoming more and more important and popular. Earlier, people were hesitant to use the internet to communicate but now it has become the most popular way of communicating. Maybe social networking sites are letters of the future. My aim is to see whether the use of such sites can be helpful to organizations and employees and to find out whether companies should or should not ban such sites at the workplace. To find out whether the use of such sites at work does or does not improve productivity and employee stress levels and satisfaction.

LITERATURE SURVEY As more and more people go online to create profiles, share photos, news and gossip with friends and spend hours updating their details and friend lists, organizations are starting to reassess their approach to social networking in the workplace. When used properly and with discretion, social networking can be a valuable resource for businesses looking to expand their visibility or for employees who need to communicate with colleagues. It is not uncommon for businesses to use social networking sites to carry out initial background checks on new recruits and a discreet way to check on what their employees are doing and saying in the public domain. Social networking has generally been discouraged at many offices with many IT departments blocking access to sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace due to privacy concerns. These efforts seem futile considering how much the communication landscape has changed in the last 2-3 years and all thanks to social networks such as twitter. Our lives are impacted by social networks in many ways. Pros and Cons of Using Social Networking Sites to Promote Business Online: Benefits of Social Networking: Social network sites serve as an easy-to-use platform for supporting your online identity, and there are several ways you can use it as part of your online marketing strategy. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Social networks and microblogging services can serve multiple roles with a single tool. They are cost-effective as most networks are free to join. They can help you get news/ a message out very quickly to a targeted audience. You can add hundreds of Friends around the globe based on key interests. They give you a chance to promote your brand or business entity by creating top of mind awareness amongst existing clients, their friends and family members. 6. It is a power communication tool that has encouraged large organizations in their marketing efforts to build brand awareness and create a network online. 7. For employees who want to relax and relieve their tension at work, visiting such sites is encouraged as it helps improve the mental status and can reduce work stress. 8. With the use of these sites, there are no barriers for distant communication.

Problems with Social Networking: While having a social network profile does give you a chance to interact with customers or prospects in a new way and establishes your online identity, there are some drawbacks for using social networking sites as a marketing tool. 1. Social networking can be a productivity killer. The multiple updates arent always reaching different audiences, and its a waste of time. 2. Its easy to get too personal, or too off-topic, when social networking, Twittering, etc. You may divulge more information than you wanted to (or than you should). The instant gratification factor also makes it easier to communicate without thinking things through; contributing to negative Web wars at times. 3. The bulk of the population still hasnt embraced these technologies, meaning your target audiences may not yet be well-represented there. 4. Its difficult to track how many people are actually converting into a sale directly from social network interactions. 5. Your social network identity needs to be managed and monitored regularly to ensure its always updated and that youre providing quality notes or comments to your groups and Friends on a regular basis. 6. Poor public relations can spread like wildfire on such sites : If a few customers or clients start complaining about you or post negative comments on other peoples profiles, you wont have any control over the activities. 7. Social Engineering: This can result in data or identity theft. 8. Viruses and Malware: This threat is often overlooked by organizations. Hackers are attracted to social networking sites because they see the potential to commit fraud and launch spam and malware attacks. 9. Wasting Resources: Although updates from networking sites may not take up huge amounts of bandwidth, the availability of video links posted on these sites creates problems for IT administrators. There is a cost to internetbrowsing, especially where high levels of bandwidth are required. Therefore it is disadvantageous at the workplace.

There have been a number of studies both in favour of and against the use of social networking sites at work. They are: A recent University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the internet for personal reasons at work within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office are about 9% more productive than those who do not. However, the study fails to factor in a very important element: security. Every action, every minute spent on social networking sites may expose an organization to numerous security threats. Results of a telephonic survey by Computerworld in 2009 developed by Robert Half Technology, which interviewed more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees shows:

About 54% companies banned social networking sites. About 19% companies allowed social networking sites only for business purpose. About 16%allow limited personal use. Only 10% of 1,400 CIOs mentioned that they allowed full access to social networking during office hours. Some employees used social networking sites daily for about 2 hours.

A recent analysis of data submitted by thousands of Barracuda Networks' Web Filter customers finds that about half the businesses using these filters are setting up blocks to MySpace, Facebook, and other such sites. Barracuda also reported that 21 percent of the businesses it surveyed actively monitor their employees' Internet activities. An Australian study suggests that bosses who ban social networking at work may have trouble retaining and hiring employees. According to research from Deacons, an Australian law firm, nearly half of regular social networking users would refuse a job if social networking sites were banned by a potential employer. Companies that allow users to access Facebook in the workplace lose an average of 1.5% in total employee productivity, according to a new report from Nucleus Research, an IT research company. The survey of 237 employees also showed that 77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours. Of those using Facebook at work, 87% said they had no clear business reason for using the site.

SUMMARIZING PARAGRAPH Give most people access to the Internet and they will spend the next hour checking their email, their Facebook profile, their MySpace Web page, updating their Twitter account and their LinkedIn account. And it doesnt happen only once a day. The time spent using social networking applications is one reason why many businesses are reluctant to allow employees to use sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn during office hours. Add the time spent on nonwork related browsing, and employers have a point. At the same time, however, businesses are starting to appreciate that social networking has its advantages, and there are many companies that have adopted social networking as another vehicle to gain a better presence online and a wider audience. Following are a few questions that the survey tries to cover: Is the use of social networking sites at work really necessary? Does the use of social networking sites at work affect the productivity, stress levels and satisfaction of the employees? Do social networking sites serve as time-waster sites or productivity booster sites when used during work hours?

AIM OF THE FIELD STUDY The aim of this study was to find out whether the use of social networking sites in the workplace actually facilitates productivity of the employees and reduces stress levels and employee satisfaction or not. The method used was a questionnaire. I distributed 40 questionnaires to people from different organizations, which I categorized into four kinds of organizations: Those that completely deny access to social networking sites Those that allow partial access to social networking sites Those that are indifferent towards employees use of social networking sites Those that used social networking sites to promote their business

The age group of the people surveyed mostly fell between 18years and 38 years except for one person who was 51years old. Out of the 40 people surveyed, 19 were females and 21were males.27 people filled in the surveys on paper and 13 people filled it in online. The details of the people surveyed including name, age, sex, organization name, occupation and designation are:

Sr. Name No. 1. Camille Baretto 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. MehndiShivdasani Akshay Desai AkshayKatre Sujata Desai SamyakCharabarty BharathNallappa TushnaMarolia ChaitraRao Jai Chhabria Murtuza Federal NamrataZaveri

Age Sex 18 18 25 23 51 21 30 22 31 27 27 23 F F M M F M M F F M M F

Organization name AISEC AISEC Amdocs CERN

Occupation Human Resources Student Software Engg Student Service

Designation Vice President Corporate Relations Vice President Development Sector SSME Research Intern Sr. Office Manager Managing Director Senior Manager Article trainee

Electronic Youth Media Group Ernst Young Pvt Ltd. Ernst & Young Pvt Ltd. Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant

Business Chartered Accountant Chartered Accountant Advocate Advocate Solicitor

Partner Paralegal/ Articled Clerk

9 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. NarayanSahu NavidMemon PiyushRaheja Pooja Kothari Rakejh Reddy Ranjeev P.C. Rohan Dakshini VisheshMalviya KarishmaKakkar Shobhit Nair ArvindSrinivas Aisha Saldhana DebashishDhanaki KshipraGadkari Kunjan Shah MeenaFernandes RenuSarkar Sandra DSouza Vanessa VishakhaNawalkar Ashim Sharma Farhaan Mukadam Kumar Abhinav 36 25 27 25 23 21 26 25 19 19 28 31 25 28 23 38 26 35 30 33 26 23 26 M M M F M M M M F M M F M F F F F F F F M M M Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Federal and Rashmikant Inscripts (I) Pvt. Ltd Inscripts (I) Pvt. Ltd Medtronic Inc. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. Tata Strategic Management Tata Strategic Management Tata Strategic Management Advocate Legal Trainee Advocate Advocate Lawyer Law Student Advocate Advocate Online Sales Service R&D Service Service Service Service Service Service Service Service Service Merchandiser Merchandiser Merchandiser Merchandiser Merchandiser Purchase Executive Merchandiser Merchandiser Intern Business Development Manager R&D Engineer Associate Advocate Assistant

Consultant Consultancy

Analyst Business analyst

10 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. Paritosh Gupta SachinSaumya FarzanaMarolia NehaDoshi RuchikaSrinivasan 29 31 23 22 28 M M F F F Tata Strategic Management Tata Strategic Management Trutech UTV Bindass University of California
Table 1

Business Consultant Web programmer

Project Lead

Research

Web Executive/ Campus Head Post-Doctoral Scientist

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DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCEDURE To conduct my survey, I went to different organizations, which I have put into four categories: 1. Those thatrestricted use of social networking sites completely: Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd., which exports home furnishings; Medtronic Inc.; Trutech 2. Those thatallowed employees access to such sites during breaks and after working hours: Tata Strategic Management, a Management Consultancy; Inscripts (I) Pvt. Ltd: 3. Those thatare neutral to the use of such sites: Federal and Rashmikant, a Law Firm; CERN, the European organization for nuclear research; Amdocs; Ernst Young Pvt Ltd. 4. Those that use social networking sites to promote their business: AIESEC, UtvBindaas, Electronic Youth Media Group I distributed the 40 questionnaires in the following manner: 09 questionnaires to Synergy Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd. 01 questionnaire to Medtronic Inc. 01 questionnaire to Trutech 05 questionnaires to Tata Strategic Management 02 questionnaires to Inscripts (I) Pvt. Ltd 12 questionnaires to Federal and Rashmikant 02 questionnaires to Ernst Young Pvt Ltd 01 questionnaire to someone who didnt wish to reveal her organizations name. 01 questionnaire to Amdocs 01 questionnaire to CERN 01 questionnaire to University of California 02 questionnaires to AISEC 01 questionnaire to UtvBindaas 01 questionnaire to Electronic Youth Media Group

As I knew people working in most of these organizations, I was able to get people to fill in my surveys easily and didnt need to take prior permission or appointments. For the other organizations, I sent my questionnaire online to a few of my friends or asked friends to pass it on to others. Wherever I went, I had to explain what my project and survey was about and why I was conducting this survey. For the online surveys, I gave a write-up about my project and explained how to go about it. There were a few people who didnt want to reveal their names or the names of their organizations. Some of the people, who I mailed the surveys to, did take a while to send it back which delayed my project. But other than that, I didnt face many problems. Thus, most of my surveys went smoothly with a few obstacles.

12 Date:

QUESTIONNAIRE
Name: Organization Name: Age: Occupation: Sex: Designation:

1. Are you a member of any social networking sites? a) Yes b) No 2. Which of these sites are you a member of? (Please specify if there are any others.) a) Facebook b) My Space c) Twitter d) Friendster e) Ibibo f) Hi5 h) Orkut i) Others __________ j) Not a member of any site 3. Does your company allow you to access social networking sites at work? a) Yes b) No c) Dont Know 4. Are you allowed to use such sites during breaks or after working hours? a) Yes b) No c) Dont know 5. Do restrictions on the use of social networking sites bother you? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 6. Do you think restrictions on social networking sites at the workplace are necessary? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 7. If not allowed to use such sites, do you use them unofficially or access them through any other modes? a) Yes b) No 8. How much time do you spend on social networking sites at work? ______________ 9. In between work do you feel compelled to check these sites? a) Yes b) No 10. Do you use such sites for business or for pleasure? a) Business b) Pleasure

c) Both

13 11. Does the use of such sites help you build and maintain contacts? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 12. Do you have your boss/seniors/colleagues as friends on these sites? a) Yes b) No 13. Do you think using such sites at the work place interferes with your work/productivity? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 14. Have you ever missed a deadline because you spent too much time on a social networking site? a) Yes b) No 15. Have any administrative decisions/changes been made in your organization because of any information put up on such sites? a) Yes b) No 16. Do you think social networking can co-exist with work in your organization? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 17. Do you think that its fair that your organization is denying access to social networking sites? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 18. Do you think using such sites would help reduce stress? a) Yes b) No c) Cant say 19. Do you think there has ever been a leak of confidential information through such sites? a) Yes b) No c) Dont know 20. Do you have any comments on the accessibility of social networking sites in your organization?

This questionnaire is only for educational purposes. Strict confidentiality will be maintained and no details will be revealed.

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DISPLAY AND DESCRIPTION OF RESULTS I constructed a questionnaire to check the effects of the use of social networking sites on employees. I asked 40 people working in the different organizations mentioned to fill out the surveys. The results of the survey were as follow:

Sr. No. 1. 2. 3.

Question

Yes

No

Cant say/ Dont know __

Not Appli cable


__ __ __

Are you a member of any social networking sites? 34 Which of these sites are you a member of? (Please specify if there are any others.) Does your company allow you to access social networking sites at work? Are you allowed to use such sites during breaks or after working hours? 07 13 19 16 __ 06 __

__

14

20

06

4. 5. 6.

06 05 09

14 11 __

Do restrictions on the use of social networking sites bother you? 05 Do you think restrictions on social networking sites at the workplace are necessary? If not allowed to use such sites, do you use them unofficially or access them through any other modes? How much time do you spend on social networking sites at work? In between work do you feel compelled to check these sites? 07 27 Pleasure 18 Both 15 Do you use such sites for business or for pleasure? Business 01 15

7.

03 __

23 __

__ __ __

14 __

8. 9. 10.

06 None 06

11. 12. 13.

Does the use of such sites help you build and maintain contacts? 24 Do you have your boss/seniors/colleagues as friends on these sites? 27 Do you think using such sites at the work place interferes with your work/productivity? 07 07 13 05 04 06 __ 06 15 06

15 14. 15. Have you ever missed a deadline because you spent too much time on a social networking site? Have any administrative decisions/changes been made in your organization because of any information put up on such sites? Do you think social networking can co-exist with work in your organization? Do you think that its fair that your organization is denying access to social networking sites? Do you think using such sites would help reduce stress? 17 19. Do you think there has ever been a leak of confidential information through such sites? Do you have any comments on the accessibility of social networking sites in your organization?
Table 2

__ 03 01 22 __ 32 07 __ 26 11 05 05 12 19 __ 09 07 11 __ 09 __ 12 __ __ 17 __ 15

16. 17. 18.

20.

Social Networking Sites


Others 3% Twitter 17% Facebook 48%

Not a member 9%

Orkut 23%

Graph 1

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Out of the 40 people that filled in the survey, 34 people i.e. 85% were members of social networking sites. The most popular social networking site was Facebook with 48% of those surveyed being members of this site. 35% of the people surveyed said that they are allowed complete access to social networking sites at work, 50% of them were not allowed to use social networking sites at work and 15% of them did not know whether their company allowed the use of such sites or not at work. Of the 50% of the people not allowed to use social networking sites at work, 26.92% were allowed to use such sites during breaks or after working hours while 50% werent allowed access to social networking sites at all. 17.24% of the people that were members of social networking sites but werent allowed to use it at work or were allowed restricted access to such sites were bothered by the restrictions on social networking sites 65.51% of the people surveyed were not affected by such restrictions and 17.24% of the people couldnt say whether it bothered them or not. 37.5% of the people surveyed think that it is necessary to have restrictions on employees use of social networking sites at work, 40% of them said that it is not necessary to have restrictions and 22.5% didnt comment on the topic. Out of the people denied access to such sites, 23.07% would use these sites unofficially or through other means. From the 34 people that are members of social networking sites, 20.58% feel compelled to check such sites in between work and 79.41% did not feel the need to check their profiles or go on social networking sites in between work. 2.94% of those who are members of social networking sites used such sites only for business, 52.94% used it only for pleasure and 44.11% of them used it for both business and pleasure. 70.58% of the people who were members of social networking sites found that the use of these sites helped them build and maintain contacts, 11.76% felt that it did not and 17.64% of them couldnt say. Of the people who were members of social networking sites, 79.41% had their boss/seniors/colleagues as friends and 20.58% did not. 25% of those who are members of social networking sites and who use such sites at work (officially/unofficially), think that using such sites at work interferes with their work, 50% do not think that the use of such sites interferes with their work/productivity and 21.42% dont know. 12% of those who were members of social networking sites and used them during work have missed a deadline because they spent too much time on such a site while 88% of them didnt. Only 3.03% of the people have said that some administrative decision has been taken in their company on the basis of information put up on a social network site and 96.96% felt that no such action had been taken.

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65% of those surveyed think that social networking can co-exist in their organization, 12.5% disagree and 22.5% didnt have an opinion on the matter. 47.82% of the people who were not allowed to use social networking sites at work felt that their organization was being fair by denying access to such sites, 21.73% of the people felt that their company should allow access to such sites and 30.43% did not comment. Of the people surveyed, 42.5% felt that using social networking sites at work serves as a stress buster, 30% felt that use of such sites didnt help reduce stress and 27.5% of the people couldnt comment on the statement. From all the people surveyed, 22.5% said that there has been a leak of confidential information through social networking sites, 47.5% didnt think that there has been any leak and 30% didnt comment on this.

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DISCUSSION The above statistics show some great concern over the use of social networking sites in the workplace. These could only lead to companies banning the sites and preventing any social contact. This could either result in a form of aggression from the workers or it might lead to better productivity. What is worrying about social networking sites is that they encourage people to give as much information about themselves as possible. Even the most prudent and well-meaning individuals can reveal information they should not. At the same time, nearly everyone today (even senior managers) have their own online profile on a social networking site and like the idea that they can keep in touch with contacts and friends via that interface. However, as the Internet culture is changing, it could be one big experiment from the management side in any industry to ban the social networking sites. The key to promote business successfully is to strike a balance between the two. Certain organizations can probably use social networking sites to advertise for their product/service or to promote their business to a wider audience. Other organizations that do not provide such services like those based on research or the law firm may allow employees to use such sites for their personal use but with restrictions. They should be allowed to use such sites either during breaks or after working hours or maybe a few computers should be kept separately where the employees can access such sites as a wayto reduce stress or reenergize as long as they are not wasting too much time on such sites or being less productive. Time limits can be set on such an arrangement depending on each organization. If a company does decide to allow access to social networking sites here are a few basic tips suggested: 1. Restrict access: Give employees a breather and allow them to access social networking sites during their lunch break, before and after office hours. Web filtering software gives administrators the ability to implement time-based access to these and other sites. 2. Educate and train staff: This is very important. Most employees are not aware how their actions online can cause security issues for the organization. Tell them in a language they understand how a simple click on a link they receive or an application they download can result in malware infecting their machine and the network. Additionally, tell them not to click on suspicious links and to pay attention when giving out personal details online. Just because employees are clever enough to have an online profile does not mean they are tech-savvy or that they have a high level of security awareness. 3. Set security and usage policies: Have all employees sign any policies related to the use of the internet at work, access to social networking sites and what they are allowed to say or do during office hours. Monitoring of all web activity is important and employees should be aware that their actions are being recorded and that failure to adhere to company policy can result in disciplinary action and/or dismissal.

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Earlier, offices may have had good reasons to ban these networks but not anymore.Here are some reasons why: 1. If workers interact with one another on social networks while in the office, this could spur ideas for future networking opportunities that aim to facilitate communication and increase productivity. 2. Social Networking sites have opened a whole new way for people to express themselves, interact with others and release stress. 3. Rather than blocking sites, shouldnt the management encourage their employees to interact, express their views on such sites and yet be loyal to their deadline and works? Besides this, with the growth in technology, it is becoming easier for people to access social networking sites through devices such as cell phones, iphone, ipod etc. So far as productivity is concerned, there is not much a company can do to ensure that em ployees dont use social networking sites through these means. Instead, an organization can probably promote healthy usage of these sites by allowing access, but with restrictions. The concern of the use of such sites taking up huge amounts of bandwidth is not that big an issue anymore because of the fast Internet speeds that have been introduced.

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CONCLUSION To end my discussion, I would like to point out to employers that they should see whether the employee is doing the job given to him/her or not. If not, normal procedures should be used. If the job is getting done, then perhaps the job needs to be enriched or expanded. Perhaps the time spent on the Internet is spent out of boredom; much like some people read the daily newspaper. Since the number of people suffering from job burnout is increasing, maybe employers can encourage healthy usage of such sites. It should be absolutely essential that departments have easily understood policies on Internet use, and that these policies be understood by staff. These policies should be drafted with the involvement of staff, wherever possible. If the employer feels that the employee is paid for what he/she produces rather than the time they put in (a progressive notion), then it makes sense to tackle most of these issues in terms of productivity, not time spent. Thats where the focus should be.

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RECOMMENDATIONS An employee can try to understand how it would affect the productivity of his/her organization and he/she may think twice, the next time he/she logs in to social networking websites during office hours. The employee should also be careful about what information they put up on such sites as it can be dangerous for the organization. An employer, should certainly consider the benefits of using social networking websites and take necessary steps to use it to his/her full advantage whilst monitoring and having clear guidelines as to how much employees can access social networking websites without affecting the organization negatively.

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WAYS OF IMPROVING MY PROJECT For my survey, I could have probably sampled a larger population to get a better understanding of the topic. To test the productivity and employee satisfaction in a better manner, I should have tried to find rival companies, one that allows the use and one that doesnt. I could have also improved the quality of my questionnaire in order to make it easier to understand and to get better correlations between the data. Also, one of the shortcomings of my survey was that I was unable to tell whether the people answering my survey were being completely honest and with the way the questions were framed, it was not possible to tell if the person had answered truthfully or not.

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INTERVIEW Mr. C. Rashmikant is a partner of the law firm, Federal and Rashmikant. Currently his organization is indifferent towards employees use of social networking sites. The following are some excerptsfrom the interview: What is your basic opinion on social networking sites? Elaborate. Social networking sites may be convenient and may also help people communicate and keep in touch with a large number of people, but I personally dont feel that they should be used during office hours. It wastes a lot of company time and sometimes, employees are unable to concentrate or it breaks concentration if used in the middle of work.

Are there any personal experiences on which your opinion is based? Give examples. Not exactly a personal experience but one of my friends had an assistant whom he trusted a lot and gave a lot of freedom to. This assistant took advantage of that freedom and started using the company phone for phone pornography. Mr. Rashmikants friend got huge telephone bills within the span of two months. When he looked for a log of calls, he found out why the bill was so high and traced it down to his assistant. He fired his assistant, but that doesnt make up for lost time or money. So I just feel that no matter how much you trust someone, you need to have restrictions for your own safety.

How strongly do you feel about this matter? Is your feeling strong enough that you would do something about it? Im pretty firm about the fact that I wouldnt want employees to waste their time at the firm on social networking sites. Considering how hard they work and the fact that they are willing to work long hours which means putting restrictions on their social life, I wouldnt mind them using social networking sites but with limitations. They shouldnt go overboard. I am definitely changing the way things function here. Even though they may be trustworthy and may know their responsibilities, I feel that they need some kind of a reminder to stay within their limits and as their boss I feel the need to restrict the use to make sure that they do not get carried away or waste company time and money.

If you are against the use of social networking sites at the workplace, why have you allowed it for so long? Lack of time and lack of man power were the main reasons for not restricting access so far.

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As the boss, how do you feel about your employees using social networking sites at work? I feel that if they are using it for a reasonable amount of time, it is alright. But it shouldnt be misused. I mean sometimes a little distraction is fine, in fact that actually helps to get better results but not to the extent that it affects the firm or work. Maybe it can be used once a week as an incentive, say probably a Saturday afternoon or something.

A study shows that if employees use social networking sites for less than 20% of their time in the workplace, they are 9% more productive. What is your opinion on that? Well if its getting more productivity, then theres nothing like it. But again the productivit y is subjected to restrictions. So as I have said, I wouldnt want to completely ban the use of social networking sites, but probably keep track of how much time is being spent and keep restrictions on such things.

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CASE STUDY Mahesh was a freelance DJ known as Dj Mole to his fans. He used sites like orkut, facebook, twitter etc. He'd constantly update his statuses and put up venues where he was jockeying. He made his own fan page to promote himself and when he entered a competition that required ordinary people to vote for the best DJ, he requested people to vote for him after putting up videos with his mixed tracks. Therefore he used these sites to build contacts and a fan base, which eventually helped him win the competition and get his moment in the spotlight. Romit was interning at a fashion magazine as a journalist. He was very fascinated with the glitz and glamour and was thrilled when he was given an opportunity to attend a photo shoot for the cover story. He too used social networking sites like Twitter and Myspace. His only folly was that he tweeted about the photo shoot and revealed details which reached a rival magazine. They stole the concept and Romit lost his job once the leak was traced to him. In this way, the use of such sites at the workplace or about the workplace can also get employees into trouble.

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ANALYSIS OF ARTICLES

ARTICLE 1: No More Facebook in Mantralaya Techtree News Staff, Jun 18, 2010 1853 hrs IST Maharashtra Government blocks the social networking site in its headquarters

According to The Times of India, the Maharashtra government has blocked access to popular social networking website Facebook in its headquarters the Mantralaya. The IT department within the Mantralaya was asked to block access to the website following complaints that the employees there were hooked to the website during the work hours thereby affecting work. The move has largely been criticised by employees from the Mantralaya. The Times of India quoted a Mantralaya employee saying that they use Facebook only during lunch breaks or when they do not have any other important work. However, senior officials at the Mantralaya clarified that the Internet connection at the office is supposed to be used for official purposes only.

ANALYSIS OF ARTICLE 1: This article talks about how the government has blocked the use of social networking sites at Mantralaya because there have been complaints of employees spending too much time on these sites which has been affecting productivity. It is extremely wrong on part of the employees to exploit the freedom given to them and to let a time wasting site like facebook affect their productivity. Maybe the government shouldnt have taken such a drastic measure. And instead could have explained to the employees the ill effects of spending so much time on such sites. They could have put restrictions on such sites and monitored employees use of these sites. Social networking sites can be a source of great unproductivity when used for long hours, but using it for a short period of about twenty minutes a day can help reenergize employees, help them get a break from monotonous tasks and can help them release stress by interacting with others or by playing a game on such sites for a limited period of time.

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ARTICLE 2:

ANALYSIS OF ARTICLE 2: This article talks about how the personal details of 100 million facebook users has been made available for download. This shows how unreliable such sites are and if people put up too much information about their work or organization, this too can get leaked which can be very dangerous for the company. The employees putting up such information can also lose their job because of such actions. There was another case in the newspaper around a year ago about a man who lost his job because he took a day off from work claiming to be sick and later through some photographs and pictures put up on facebook, his boss (who he had as a friend on facebook) realized that he was not unwell but had simply gone out that day with his friends.

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INCIDENTAL OBSERVATIONS AND TRIVIA While doing my project, I realized that besides social networking sites, games either on these sites or other gaming sites and other sites like youtube also serve as time-waster sites or distract employees if used in excess but at the same time serve as productivity boosters if used in moderation. An article spoke off a controversy related to applications on Facebook. One application allowed users to upload their pictures and then make their complexions in the photographs fairer. While some were all for this, others were miffed as such an application promoted prejudices against dusky people. Again and again people are told that unless theyre fair, theyre not beautiful which causes severe self-esteem issues in young girls and a site like Facebook should not further encourage it. There are 500 million users on Facebook.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/study-54-of-companies-ban-facebook-twitterat-work/ http://hubpages.com/hub/Pros-and-Cons-of-Using-Facebook-to-Promote-Your-BusinessOnline http://www.redflymarketing.com/blog/should-you-jump-into-social-networks-topromote-your-business/ http://www.findingdulcinea.com/docroot/dulcinea/fd_images/news/technology/MarchApril-08/Business-Managers-Who-Ban-Social-Networking-May-Lose-Staff/news/ http://news.cnet.com/Can-social-networking-co-exist-with-the-workplace/2010-1030_36223458.html


http://www.information-management.com/specialreports/2009_165/social_networking_media10016208-1.html?pg=2

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135795/Study_Facebook_use_cuts_productivit y_at_work
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139020/Study_54_of_companies_ban_Facebook_T witter_at_work

http://www.techtree.com/India/News/No_More_Facebook_in_Mantralaya/551111878-643.html http://www.echannelline.com/usa/story.cfm?item=24958 http://life-imprimispr.blogspot.com/2010/05/should-social-networks-be-banned-in.html http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Social-Networking-In-The-Office--Good-Or-Bad/1083442 http://customer-relations.suite101.com/article.cfm/social-networking-for-businesses http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/shocking_news_scientists_say_workplace_social _netw.php