While Facebook generates less than a billion a year in revenue, it’s impressive just how much use of the service costs employers each year. One company has calculated that use of social networking sites in general (of which Facebook makes up the vast majority of usage) cost employers upwards of $2.25 billion each year in lost employee productivity. It’s forcing many companies to question whether or not to ban the site all together.
Considering that there are over 350 million active users on the site it’s likely that the cost could be far greater if even a fraction of Facebook users are employed. With the number of Facebook users increasing by the minute, one has to wonder if it makes sense to ban usage within the workplace. Having an active social life is somewhat important for one’s psychological well being, however there is a valid argument for banning usage in the work place.
In contrast to Google which can be used for both entertainment purposes as well as productivity purposes, it’s difficult to argue the need for Facebook in the workplace. Then again a sales associate or other business development employee would probably find it useful to connect with people on Facebook during the sales process. Public relations and media people may also find it useful to network on Facebook for pitching or writing stories.
There’s an obvious argument against Facebook use though. Facebook can rapidly become a time suck as networking with professional contacts quickly spins out of control and you end up checking out someone you are currently infatuated with and purchasing crops for your FarmVille farm. While you may try to argue to your boss that Facebook helps you get more accomplished, there’s practically no Facebook user that can say they’ve never lost focus while browsing the site.
Do you think Facebook should be banned in the workplace?