Facebook is not always a waste of time
The Sydney Morning Herald proudly proclaims Facebook to be an office time-waster that costs Australian business $5bn annually:
Richard Cullen of SurfControl, an internet filtering company, estimates the site may be costing Australian businesses $5 billion a year. “Our analysis shows that Facebook is the new, and costly, time-waster,” he said.
The report calculates that if an employee spends an hour each day on Facebook, it costs the company more than $6200 a year. There are about 800,000 workplaces in Australia.
Needless to say, that’s playing fast and loose with the numbers. Of course the article goes on to quote Office Space-like employees who “averaged about 15 minutes of work per day,” (though, interestingly enough, this particular person doesn’t credit Facebook for her off-time).
Internet time-wasting is no doubt something that’s here, and should be kept in check, but this story smells a little bit like hyperbole to me.
Yes, there’s unproductive time spent on Facebook. Of all the social networks, it is the most college-oriented, and college is famous for nothing if not procrastination. But experiments have shown that a little bit of time spent engaging on Facebook can lead to some incredible ROI, or some great community and awareness building.
If you’re in the business of having customers (get it? that’s everyone), don’t be so quick to write Facebook off as the devil. If your team is on Facebook, chances are your customers are, too. Don’t throw that connection away if you don’t have to.
If you’ve ever spent some constructive time on Facebook, leave a story or a link in the comments (I know you’ve got at least one, Jeremiah).