Would you let your employees ‘Facebook at Work?’

Facebook may be coming to your office.

Facebook may be coming to your office.

When it comes to social media, opinions about its value in the workplace differ from company to company. Some HR practitioners believe that some social media use is permissible, while others may see it as a serious distraction from completing necessary tasks. Regardless of which view your company holds, the use of social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, it was reported recently that Facebook is planning to merge with the professional world to create "Facebook at Work." According to an article in CNN Money, Facebook will be trying out a version of their work website, which will allow employees to use the site to communicate while in the office. 

"Currently, office workers use a mishmash of computer programs to chat online with coworkers and share documents, including Office 365, Sharepoint, Google Drive, Dropbox, AIM and Yammer. Then there's LinkedIn. The professional network already does the best job at categorizing coworkers and connecting you to them. But there's no live chat feature, and collaboration is nonexistent," writes CNN Money contributor Jose Pagliery.

While many HR departments are well-versed in the potential risks and benefits of employee social media access, the creation of Facebook's work network may be worth considering as part of a policy change or update. Many HR departments use social networks as part of the recruiting process, and this new development is another possibility that practitioners may want to add into the mix. Although social media has the potential to be a worthwhile recruiting tool, it can also be a workplace distraction. A clearly outlined policy can help establish the appropriate boundaries. A comprehensive HR software system will help manage the details.