November 04, 2005

Stone Age

A friend forwarded this invite to a poll that Ad Age is doing on employees wasting time blogging:

Be Part of the News - VOTE IN THE AD AGE WEEKLY ONLINE POLL BACKGROUND: A report last week by Advertising Age Editor at Large Bradley Johnson noted that about 35 million workers -- or one in four people in the U.S. labor force -- spend an average of 3.5 hours, or 9%, of each work day reading blogs. This blogification of workplace time is no minor concern -- the total losses across the national work force are estimated to be the equivalent of 551,000 years of paid time that is being spent on blogs via the employer's own computer systems. Another important point was that the time spent reading blogs on the job was in addition to the time already spent surfing the Web in personal pursuits. The debate appears to be one of reasonable limits. At what point, or at what length of time, does the use of company assets for personal activities become unreasonable? And is the problem likely to become an even greater one as more and more TV content goes online, becoming easily accessible from one's office computer? Do employers need to find new ways to police their computer systems? THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Should employers allow their staff to read blogs in the workplace?

Since the poll is now closed, I thought I would re-write this solicitation in a more Web 2.0 way:

Help Us Feel Useful in the Age of the Net - VOTE IN THE AD AGE WEEKLY ONLINE POLL BACKGROUND: A report last week by one of our guys who's hanging onto his MSM title for dear life noted that about 35 million workers -- or one in four people in the U.S. labor force -- spend an average of 3.5 hours, or 9%, of each work day educating themselves without dipping into your "professional development" budget while at the same time escaping the tedious mindlessness of watercooler chitchat. This blogification of workplace time is no minor concern -- when the slaves find out they can make money without living in the quarters out back, your business stands to lose 551,000 years of indentured servitude, which means fewer workers to fire just before retirement. Another important point was that the time spent reading blogs on the job was in addition to the time already spent surfing the Web looking for jobs at clued companies, not yours. The debate appears to be one of reasonable limits. At what point, or at what length of time, does the use of company assets for building tighter connections with your markets become a problem? And is the problem likely to become an even greater one as more and more of our print subscribers use the publication for toilet paper, potentially in your own office bathrooms? Do employers need to find new ways to police their computer systems? Because we're having to find new ways to seem interesting. THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Should employers allow their staff to read blogs in the workplace?

My suggested changes are bolded.

This one's on the house.

HAT TIP: To me for fortuitously predicting this stupid discussion during my first week of blogging November 10, 2001.

And if the corporation knew what we were doing, what would they say? "Wow, what an amazing forum--who are you talking with? what matters to them? what the hell is going on out there?" No, I'm pretty sure that's not what's going to happen. Like blocking napster access (back in the day), I'm pretty darn sure the corporate eyebrow would raise not-so-slightly, with the ageold warning: "Don't let this affect your productivity." I'm willing to wager we'll start to hear non-gonzo proclamations of 'no blogging at work,' or worse yet, "Hey, set one of those blogs up for the marketing department, will ya? we can talk about our new product launch." egads.

It's not easy being right.

3 comments:

David said...

Ha!

The last line - "This week's question" - ought to be changed to "Should employers allow workers to have minds at work?"

Denise said...

Double Ha! And of course, the pleasant exception always deserves recognition. I posted about one today.

Lisa said...

How could 3.5 hours be 9% of a workday? Wouldn't that mean a workday was just under 35 hours long?