Following the earlier story regarding the Demos study, which suggested that UK bosses should accept the use of social networking sites during working hours, one company has agreed with the findings.


Jim Black, marketing manager at Bloxx claimed that there was a place for social networking sites such as Facebook in the workplace provided companies knew how to manage it.


Black said: “Our customers tell us that they will allow their staff to use and it is seldom a problem, it only becomes a problem people start using it to communicate externally and when they become addicted to it.


“If a company of 100 employers has the staff using Facebook for a couple of hours a week then you are looking at a loss of £120,000, and this can escalate if people are on it more and more.


“People do become addicted to it, we hear customers complaining about other sites such as YouTube as it takes up so much bandwidth, I heard from one customer that they were unable to have a VoiP conversation as it kept cutting out due to bandwidth issues.


“No-one would disagree that Facebook is an excellent social networking tool and people want to communicate and now a whole generation are growing up with this as a means of communication. However when they get into a business environment they expect to be able to continue to operate in the same fashion but companies may object.


“We see that some companies are embracing it and keeping in touch between employees is challenging, but the whole metaphor of social engineering is a challenge to businesses as if you ban it altogether you face new challenges!


“At the same time encouraging people to use it can work, but the way ahead may be to develop an acceptable use policy which allows use during the day can work but you need to educate employees about the risk so that procedures are in place to deal with security.


“We would never advocate a complete ban but perhaps someone could come up with a tool that would allow access to Facebook at certain times of the day? This is exactly what our Web Filter does. It can be configured to allow access to particular sites such as Facebook at specific times. If users really need a social networking tool to enhance internal communications then there is an opportunity there."