There’s not a month without the publication of new statistics about losses due the use of social networks by employees. We have to b e very cautions with such datas.
First because the only thing we can calculate is the ration between the connection lenght and the hourly cost of the employee, that’s nothing tangible. That’s assuming people who connect to social networks don’t work just when they’re real business tools for most of us. Business opportunities don’t happen, people can’t learn, people can’t benchmark if walls are built around them.
Second because we only know the connection time. I open facebook at 9.00 AM, I stop using it at 9.05 and I turn my computer off at 8.00 PM. This means I spent 11 hours connected for only 5 minutes of effective use.
Third, because we can wonder if the need for going out of the organization’s perimeter to have certain interactions is not due to the fact the kind of tools that support those interactions aren’t available inside the organization.
While focusing on social networks, companies don’t pay any attention to the losses generated by business tools that are not relevant to some kind of activities or are not wisely used. Luckily, some do. In San Francisco, the Churchill Club. Let’s add that, as a “corporate provided business tool” email seems to be more “respectable” for those who fight against social networks even if its impact on productivity is more dramatic that all the facebooks of the world ! Perhaps because employees really suffer from within the organization, whose responsible are precisely those who “care” about their productivity !