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Annie Hayes

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Half of HR have thrown the book at Facebook time-wasters

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A new survey shows that 50 per cent of HR professionals have had to discipline staff for time wasting on social networking sites.

Sixty-five per cent of UK companies now block access to sites including Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

Yet whilst many have blocked access to Web 2.0 technologies such as YouTube and Wikipedia, one in five admit they are unfamiliar with them.

There is further disconnect between HR and IT as to where responsibility lies with regards to monitoring employee use of the internet. Thirty-six per cent of HR workers did not consider monitoring employee usage of the internet as their responsibility, and it was the lowest ranked job on their list of priorities. Furthermore only 44 per cent of HR professionals are involved in developing an internet usage policy and just 21 per cent are involved in monitoring it as opposed to 82 per cent of IT departments.

“There is no doubt that the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, such as social-networking sites, is changing the way that all organisations do business,” said Penny Davis, head of HR operations at T-Mobile. “HR departments need to keep abreast of these changes for a multitude of reasons in order to work effectively. At T-Mobile, we make use of Facebook, for example, to aid our graduate recruitment process. As an organisation, we need to ensure that as such technologies develop we fully understand the potential and the impact on our business.”

Clearswift, providers of content security technology and authors of the survey, polled more than 300 HR decision makers in the UK.

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Annie Hayes

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