Fun or Business?

February 6, 2009 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

Corporate implementations of Social Networking  in house seem to raise lots of questions through the planning and development.  As a business analyst I love the questions, I love trying to help figure out the answers with others on the team and love it when the answers and solutions begin to come together.  One question that always surprises me (but almost always gets raised) is “what if our employees don’t use this for just business, but use it for fun?”  These are usually the same people that create policy and recruitment statements like “We are a fun place to work” or “we want our employees to have fun here” but say the “f” word linked to social networking and people get flat upset and try to figure out strategies to keep that from happenning.  I contend that work and fun need to mix.  The places that retain employess and have great moral are fun.  I remember visiting AOL years ago and the place was like camp!  People at that time were loving life and their job.  Google is another example and you could go on and on.  It is funny that if I am laughing about something at dinner last night with a fellow worker and then another joins in the conversation and we take a few minutes out and laugh and someone else shares a story that is okay.  I think our daily lives are a mix of moments like that at work mixed in with alot of hours when we are completing tasks, working on projects, selling something, etc.  And the fun stuff along with the feeling of accomplishment and contribution are the things that will keep us from looking elsewhere or going home in a really bad mood!  Social networking is the same–it is just that we will use it much of the time to find a resource, information or someone that can fill that hole for us on something we are working on.  BUT guess what there will be those moments everyday when we will share on a movie, a funny (not inapporpriate) website or youtube or a laugh over something we saw on the game last night or in the news.  There is a difference in connecting, getting to know one another and acting inappropriately.  The “f” word is not inappropriate; in fact it is much needed just like kids need recess at school.  You have employees you say you respect and trust and you say you want it to be a fun place to work.  So, let’s trust our staff’s judgement to tell the difference between fun and not appropriate for the workplace.  Most will rise to the occasion and for those that don’t—well they were probably acting inappropriately before social networking; now you just know it so handle it as you would any other personel issue.  BUT let your responsible, adult staff have a little fun and really make your place “a fun place to work!”  Happy and FUN collaborating today!

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Entry filed under: collaboration, Debbie Tegart, enterprise collaboration, networking, remote teams, Social Media, social networking, Teams, Web 2.0. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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