According to a 2009 survey from Robert Half Technology, more than half of the CIOs who responded, prohibited using social media at work.
More than half? Seriously? What outcome is that supposed to achieve? Increased productivity?
It's just difficult for me to imagine a meeting in which intelligent executives got together and arrived at the conclusion that the solution to their productivity problem was restricting access to Facebook and Twitter.
If an individual is wasting time on social media, once taken away, won't they find another outlet to waste time?
The benefits of a no social media policy with regards to productivity seem trivial at best , but the potential costs are enormous:
1. You risk alienating your employees. People wanted to be treated with respect. Like they're professionals. Not like children. A no social media policy feels like punishment that you might offer to a child.
2. You risk decreasing productivity. As Dan Pink makes clear in Drive, one of the essential elements of motivation is autonomy, the drive to direct our own lives. An action like restricting social media access, can be interpreted as a signal that your company doesn't trust you to get your work done. That your company feels the need to intervene into your work habits. This jeopardizes the feeling of autonomy for employees.
If your company has a productivity problem, why not focus on the things that really matter, like creating a compelling vision for the business that makes them want to work harder. It seems to me, that focusing on social media is an easy way out (and a useless one).