Employers increasingly blocking Twitter, Facebook, MySpace

Building a coalition just gets tougher all the time as challenges to reaching potential allies grow in number and complexity.

The latest is the proliferation of employer-driven policies barring social media usage.

According to a new survey of 1,400 CIOs of companies with 100 or more employees, 54% now completely block employees from accessing social networking sites at work.

Only 10% of those surveyed let employees use social networks however they please, while the remainder all impose at least some restrictions on usage, like limiting it to business purposes only.

The survey, which was developed by Robert Half Technology, is consistent with other recent reports that show companies are quickly moving to block social media in the workplace.

This presents multiple problems for coalitionists.

Rightly or wrongly, many individuals justify tracking issues, initiatives and campaigns as being job-related. If unable to electronically stay engaged from work, they are likely to be far less willing to remain fully informed and involved.

And if they have to shift their efforts to keep up on an issue to personal time, engagement in substantive issues or initiatives may suffer from competition for scarce discretionary time from family, other interests and more superficial social media activities.

Perversely, corporate social media roadblocks may actually backfire. There’s research to indicate that such restrictions actually reduce employees’ time on job and overall job satisfaction – in addition to making life tougher for coalitionists.

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