A Majority of Companies Prohibit Social Networking on the Job, CIO Survey


TORONTO, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Workers who want to share the latest news with Facebook friends and Twitter followers will need to wait until after hours or risk violating company policy, a new survey suggests. Nearly six out of 10 (58 per cent) chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said their firms do not allow employees to visit social networking sites for any reason while at work.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada.

CIOs were asked, "Which of the following most closely describes your company's policy on visiting social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, while at work?"

Their responses:

           Prohibited completely.......................... 58%
           Permitted for business purposes only........... 22%
           Permitted for limited personal use............. 16%
           Permitted for any type of personal use.........  3%
           Don't know/no answer...........................  1%

"Social networking sites may distract employees' attention from their job duties, so many organizations have banned their use in the workplace," said Geoff Thompson, vice president of Robert Half Technology. "For some occupations, however, these sites can enhance business practices, and one in five companies are therefore allowing access for work-related use."

Thompson cautioned that employees should always exercise prudence no matter how lenient their company's policy. "Whether during or outside business hours, professionals should employ sound judgment when using Facebook and similar sites," he said. "Unprofessional posts may lead to career repercussions."

Robert Half Technology offers the following tips for protecting your professional reputation when using social networking sites:

    -   Know what's allowed. Make sure you understand and adhere to your
        company's social networking policy.

    -   Use caution. Be familiar with each site's privacy settings to ensure
        personal details or photos you post can be viewed only by people you

    -   Keep it professional. Use social networking sites while at work to
        make connections with others in your field or follow industry
        news -- not to catch up with family or friends.

    -   Stay positive. Avoid complaining about your manager and coworkers.
        Once you've hit submit or send, you can't always take back your
        words -- and there's a chance they could be read by the very people
        you're criticizing.

    -   Polish your image. Tweet or blog about a topic related to your
        profession. You'll build a reputation as a subject matter expert,
        which could help you advance in your career.

    -   Monitor yourself. Even if your employer has a liberal policy about
        social networking, limit the time you spend checking your Facebook
        page or reading other people's tweets to avoid a productivity drain.

    About the Survey
    The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading
provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted
by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 270
telephone interviews with CIOs across Canada.

    About Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: For further information: Robert Half Technology, Suite 820, 181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5J 2T3, Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com

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