Over half of U.S. workplaces block social networks

A majority of U.S. workplaces block access to social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, new survey results commissioned by consulting firm Robert Half Technology indicate. Fifty-four percent block social networks “completely,” while another 19 percent only permit it “for business purposes.”

Only 10 percent of companies surveyed permit social-network use on the job for any kind of personal use; 16 percent allow “limited” personal use, according to the results released Tuesday.

The study, conducted by an independent research firm, surveyed about 1,400 chief information officers at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, which means that the results obviously don’t encompass small businesses.

Regulating social-network use at work is a complicated matter. There are some nuances that numbers like these don’t bring up: “limited” personal use of social networks sounds like it could mean anything from blocking the majority (but not entirety) of social sites to simply instituting a “don’t trash your boss on Facebook” rule. Some companies, additionally, may have different standards set for different degrees of employees—the guy running the company Twitter account and the human resources department may have extra privileges, for example.



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