People need to be focused on their job, not on being more like a family. It's true that communication and collaboration are essential, which is why I love SharePoint's many other features. But in my shop, all the social networking pieces get turned off from the get-go.
The (social) problem with smartphones
Try as you might to keep social networks at bay, mobile devices let people be in constant connection to their social networking vices over the cellular networks, which you can't block. Still, it's not completely impossible to stop social time-wasting over mobile: You can establish policies that, if enforced strongly enough, eliminate social networks from being accessed on company time. Treat it like smoking: Let employees take a 15-minute coffee/smoking/Facebook break and make them go to a designated area to do it.
Even though the whole BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon sounds like a great idea to save the company money and keep people happy with whatever device they're using, it makes your workplace more difficult to control. If you supply the devices, you can set the policies to lock down those devices. For example, with Exchange ActiveSync policies and mobile device management (MDM) tools you can turn off devices' cameras, Web browsers, and specific apps you don't approve of. It's worth it for companies to provide the device so that you can control it and keep people working, not playing.
When you're at work, you're supposed to work
I'm not an old fuddy-duddy, but my start in this business was on Wall Street with companies like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Solomon Smith Barney. There were rules, and those rules were enforced strongly. I wonder what those companies are doing now about social networking sites, tools, and apps. If they held true to form, they are reading this article and nodding their heads in approval of lockdown.
People need to stay serious and focused on their work. Leave the social networking at home.
This article, "Why you should block Facebook access at the office," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.