Facebook at work: Should employers limit time?

Facebook at work: Should employers limit time?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- With Mafia Wars, Farmville and "getting to know you" quizzes, the social network site Facebook can be a major waste of time. So, should employers prevent people from using it at work?

Answer this question honestly: Do you log on to Facebook at work? (I plead the fifth, by the way.)

Some people tell KSL Newsradio they limit their use at work. One man says, "In a week, maybe an hour." One woman near the Gateway says, "Fifteen minutes a day. I check it in the morning."

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For others, the social networking site may be a very serious distraction. One man admitted, "At work, [I log on] probably two to three hours a day."

So, should employers prohibit employees from using the site? Some management consultants say, "Not necessarily."

M. Douglas Brough Consulting CEO Marvin Brough said, "They need to draw a fine line, if they're going to allow it at all, to the extent where most of the time it would be used in a way that it would benefit the company."

Brough says blocking Facebook would be like getting rid of a marketing tool which could give your company a few free mentions to hundreds of people online. But, employers shouldn't be afraid of telling workers they will block it if workers abuse the privilege.

"That would be a normal procedure to do, saying, ‘It's being abused, we're going to have to stop it.' You may have to even do that company-wide," he said.

Brough says companies do need to set limits on how much time employees can spend on the site. He says 15 minutes a day is a good example.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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