Does Facebook Use in the Office Lead to 'Social Notworking'?

Nucleus Research finds that corporate workers lose nearly 1.5 percent in office productivity by using Facebook at work, the latest study on whether social networking sites hinder or help enterprises. The research company also finds that Facebook is used as an alternative messaging and collaboration platform to Outlook, Gmail and other tools. This may pose security risks.

Corporate employees may fritter away nearly 1.5 percent of their office productivity by using Facebook at work, according to a new study from Nucleus Research.

The research company interviewed 237 randomly selected office workers about their Facebook use and also found that the social network is being used as an alternative e-mail platform to Outlook and similar applications.

Seventy-seven percent of these workers had a Facebook account, with nearly two-thirds of those users accessing Facebook for at least 15 minutes a day during working hours.

Accordingly, Nucleus researchers noted: "It's not surprising that more than a few respondents identified with the term 'social notworking.' Given that 61 percent of employees access Facebook at work, companies can reasonably estimate a cost of 1.5 percent of total employee productivity."

This should further fuel contention over whether Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites hinder or help productivity in the workplace. Gartner analysts have also done studies on the issue, which sparks frequent debates.

Of those who do visit Facebook at work, 6 percent of those surveyed said they don't access Facebook anywhere else. This means, according to Nucleus, that one in every 33 workers built his or her Facebook profile during work hours.

Compounding that nugget is that 87 percent of those surveyed who access Facebook at work couldn't define a clear business reason for using it. It isn't hard to conclude that some of these users are bored in their jobs and are looking to socialize while on the clock.

Nucleus also found that of the 13 percent of users that had a business reason for accessing Facebook, most were not using it for personal networking, but to promote a business, product or event to Facebook users as part of a broader marketing strategy.