Sunday 20 September 2009

Office workers to be given 10 minute 'Facebook break'

Offices are set to impose a new rule in the workplace stating that their employees will be allowed a 'Facebook break' of 10 minutes a day.

Bosses are planning to introduce limits on the amount of time employees spend maintaining their social lives when they should be working and are set to impose the breaks, similar to those granted to smokers.

It follows research suggesting that Britain's economy is suffering thanks to workers surfing social networking sites.

Giles Ridgeway, a leading consultant at Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS) says Facebook is a "curse."

“They feel some staff are failing to do the job they’re paid for because they’re spending too much time on such websites," he said. "Some have said it appears to be a habit similar to smokers needing their fix of nicotine.”

A ban was introduced by Portsmouth City Council has been supported by leading business personalities after finding out that staff were continuously logging into their Facebook account up to 270,000 times a month.

Mr Ridgeway says that social networking sites are not a part of workers "legal entitlement" and therefore it is up to bosses to take this matter in their own hands.

He said enquiries about how to control what some firms have described as “a new media menace” had been growing since the turn of the year.

Workers are even at risk of losing their jobs if this rule is not adhered to.

“In days past, staff would have gathered around the office tea trolley for a quick chat. Now, they can talk to friends on the other side of the globe from their desks,” he added.

“But to remain able to do so means committing to doing the job they’re employed for. If they don’t and bosses take exception to what they believe to be an abuse, they could find themselves out of work and companies would be well within their rights to take such action.”

For the full Telegraph article, please click HERE

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