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Facebook Costs, Benefits Firms

Posted Aug 21, 2007 3:23 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Employees surfing the Internet at work are nothing new. But Facebook is particularly tempting, a recent study finds, because the social networking site is so addictive.

Workers checking their Facebook profile pages and seeing what's happening in real-time in online social networks account for billions of dollars worth of lost work time annually in Australia alone, according to the survey. Nonetheless, there is a plus side for employers that should make them think twice about banning Facebook from workplace computers, reports Reuters. Employees eager to stay online and socialize are willing to work longer hours, according to Richard Cullen. He is chairman of SurfControl, the Internet security company that conducted the study.

A growing number of companies are forbidding employees to access the site at work, according to TechWorld, but law firms may be a special case.

Allen & Overy, for instance, banned Facebook earlier this year, but was bombarded with staff complaints and backed down, noting that networking has a business-generating function. The London-based international firm currently bans 700-plus staff Facebook fans only from viewing videos on the site, reports Legal Week.

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