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Twittering the day away: Concern about time waste but also see business benefits in social media use

By Workplace Staff
| www.cos-mag.com

As social media makes its way into the workplace, executives are weighing the potential risks and benefits. Nearly half (47 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed recently for an Accountemps survey said their greatest concern is that employees are wasting time during business hours using sites such as Facebook and Twitter. CFOs also expressed worries their staff may behave unprofessionally or post inappropriate information online. However, almost one in four financial executives (24 per cent) said these sites can help staff members expand their networks of valuable business contacts.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with responses from more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “What is your greatest concern for your company regarding employees using social media?” Their responses:

Wasting time at work....................................        47%

Behaving unprofessionally.................................    14%

Posting negative comments about company........   11%

Posting financial/confidential

  company information......................................      5%

No concerns....................................................     12%

Access not allowed………………………….....           3%

Other…………………… …………………….               3%

Don’t know/no answer.....................................         6%

CFOs were also asked, “What is the greatest benefit to your company of employees using social media?” Their responses:

Expand networks of valuable contacts..........         24%

Enhance company’s reputation..........................   22%

Provide better customer service........................    18%

Can secure new business..................................    5%

No benefits......................................................    21%

Access not allowed………………………….               3%

Don’t know/no answer.....................................        8%

“Many organizations are still determining how social media fits into their workplaces,” says Kathryn Bolt, Canadian division president of Accountemps. “Executives are concerned with the possibility of added distraction from their employees’ daily duties, which may affect productivity and efficiency on the job.”

Bolt also added, “On the other hand, more firms are realizing that the rewards may outweigh the risks, as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used by employees to expand their networks of valuable business contacts and enhance the company’s reputation.”

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com. Follow Accountemps for workplace news at twitter.com/accountemps.

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