Anyone that remembers the classic Seinfeld episode, "Soup Nazi" will be
able to relate to the current prohibition of Twitter and Facebook in the workplace. Working 9 to 5, what can an employee do when he
or she gets the urge to dip his or her toe in the Twitterstream?
Unfortunately, there are too many Social Media Nazis out there throwing the hammer down on this type of activity.
Affecting more than half of all businesses in the US and according to a new survey conducted by Robert Half Technology, fifty-four percent of companies completely block social networks at work, while another nineteen percent will only permit it "for business purposes." According to a CNET Report, social networks "have become so ingrained in culture and
communication that some companies choosing to block them can appear
draconian rather than prudent."
According to Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half, "using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access." For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”
What is troublesome to me is the "54 percent" that prohibits social networking altogether. To me, this type of 'sticking your head in the sand' approach is like closing your eyes to what modern technology can provide a business for branding and marketing purposes. Companies, if they choose to can control the misuse of the social networking privilege in the workplace in the same way they learned to manage employees accessing their personal email accounts during business hours.
"No Twitter for you today," does sound like a dictatorial approach right out of the last century. As classic a routine and as funny as Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First", for those that want a refresher course on the "Soup Nazi," here's a compilation of clips that shows how Jerry, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, Kramer and Newman are hilariously mistreated by the now infamous "Soup Nazi."
I hereby extend my heart-felt sympathies to those employees who are currently employed by the 54 percenters that say "no social networking for you." Perhaps you should show them this video to make them see how much they resemble Seinfeld's Soup Nazi!