Australian workers are among the most deprived in the world when it comes to social networking. In a worldwide survey carried out by 3 Mobile, 55% of the 1000 Australian respondents reported that their employer banned the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace in their workplace, even as their Euro counterparts bucked the trend.
Of course, 3 has a vested interest in all this - they're selling their INQ phone based on it's Facebook, instant messaging and Skype abilities. Perhaps they're hoping to start some sort of people's revolution.
The survey found within Australian workplaces:
- 24% of 18-24yr olds confess to avoiding additional work tasks to make time for sites like Facebook
- 17% of workers skip lunch breaks to justify time spent on social networks during the working day
- Almost 1 in 3 workers (28%) hide their screen from their boss so they can social network undetected
The survey also showed that European employees by comparison, were given more flexibility and trust when it came to using the websites, suggesting workplace controls on social networking use is more relaxed in the northern hemisphere.
Perhaps it's the good wine or the bread, but only 12% of French employees polled were found to ban the sites.The tapas-loving Spaniards fared slightly better at 11%, while the beer swilling Germans found a sense of humour with just 10% of employees in Germany denied access to social networking services.
Enjoying their siesta, only 6% of Italians were banned from using the sites, three times less than the 20% of workplaces that banned it in the UK.
It's not all doom and gloom for the Facebook crowd. Social networking expert and researcher Laurel Papworth countered the idea of social networking being bad for the workplace, insisting that using these sites were for the greater good of a company in the long term and added value to the business, as co-workers connected better with each other.
"The use of social networks in the workplace is a reality and the best and brightest businesses will benefit from harnessing the potential of an ambitious, hyper-connected workforce", Papworth said.