On the Job Tweeting Could be bad for Your Career

If you visit social networking sites at the office, it’s probably best to limit your activity unless your posts are work-related.

Advanced CommunicationsMore than half of U.S. companies don’t allow employees to visit Twitter, MySpace or Facebook during work hours, according to a recent survey of CIOs conducted by Robert Half Technology. Many more restrict the amount of time employees can spend on the sites.

A similar attitude prevailed during the late 1990s, when employers routinely restricted access to the Internet. They changed course when they discovered its content had value.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that many executives equate busy thumbs and writing on a buddy’s wall with idle minds. Here’s how the CIOs characterized their company’s social networking policy:

CIOs were asked, "Which of the following most closely describes your company’s policy on visiting social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, while at work?"

Their responses:

  •     Prohibited completely 54%
  •     Permitted for business purposes only 19%
  •     Permitted for limited personal use 16%
  •     Permitted for any type of personal use.10%
  •     Don’t know/no answer 1%

Clearly some companies have embraced the concept of social networking, using it to communicate with employees, garner new clients or recruit new workers. But others are still concerned the sites will diminish productivity. If you work for a company that hasn’t bought into the concept, play it safe by texting and tweeting on your own time, unless the CIO happens to tweet you first.

— Leslie Stevens-Huffman