But the TUC has suggested that banning employees from using social networking sites like Facebook is an “over-reaction”. It argues that staff should be trusted to spend a few minutes of their lunchbreak “poking” their friends or making plans for outside work.
Guidance on the TUC’s workSMART website accepts that staff should not spend hours a day on social networking sites like Facebook.
But its general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Simply cracking down on use of new web tools like Facebook is not a sensible solution to a problem, which is only going to get bigger.
“It’s unreasonable for employers to try to stop their staff from having a life outside work, just because they can’t get their heads around the technology.”
Here at Community Care opinion is deeply divided. Content editor Lauren Revans said: “I cannot see the point of Facebook at all. I have enough emails to trawl through at work anyway without logging on to check my ‘wall’ as well! In terms of using it at work, I think it would be a major distraction if it was on the whole time.
“But if someone chooses to spend their lunchtime playing on it that’s up to them – and, quite frankly, that’s their loss.”
Web editor Clare Jerrom has very different views: “I love Facebook and find it highly addictive. I moved away from my home town aged 18 and this has really helped me to keep connected with a lot of my friends back home – some of whom I haven’t spoken to properly for years.”
Clare Jerrom: Why I love Facebook