Risks and Productivity Loss due to Social Media.


Written by: Donovan Hoare
Director of ATS All Technology Solutions CC.



When implementing firewalls and company IT policies at a new client, a normal question that is bound to come up is, “Should we block Facebook? or rather Social Media”. I normally mention a few stats and percentages, but employers don’t believe the stats I provide. It CANT be true they say. Not my employees! Part of this blog post is for me to have a record with links in order to send to our clients as a reference. Solutions to the problems are below


1) Productivity loss

ATS All Technology Solutions CC has noticed amongst our clients that 1-3 hours are used per day for unproductive work. Our list does not only include facebook and youtube but also includes Whatsapp and other chatting applications here are two quotes below from external sources that coincide with our findings, but let us be honest we don’t need reports as a business owner to know the above is true.

“According to TeamLease World of Work Report, an average of 2.35 hours is spent accessing social media at work every day and 13 percent of the total productivity is lost owing to the social media indulgence alone.” Ref 1

“The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Total DUI (a non-profit group), recently released a compilation of reports and statistics on social media addiction in the US. It revealed that 18 percent of users can’t go beyond “a few hours” without checking Facebook and 61 percent of users check their newsfeed “at least once a day.” Of iPhone users, 28 percent check their Twitter feed before getting up in the morning. It’s estimated that the average American spends nearly one-quarter of their work day browsing social media for non-work related activities.” Ref 2

2) Risks of Social Media

With the internet nothing can be removed, once it gets out quick and there is no getting it back, the last thing you want is something released out into the public domain of bad reputation “Trending”.

The factors to consider by opening social media in the workplace.

a) Reputation Damage
b) Legal Liability
c) Workplace issues
i. Cyber Stalking
ii. sexual harassment
iii. Workplace bullying
d) Sending of confidential information


3) How to monitor and manage.

Overall blocking social media is incredibly difficult in the workplace, It’s hard to track https traffic and to monitor application traffic on the network. Most IT admins just block Facebook URL, but that doesn’t stop https

https scanning was left to very expensive hardware firewalls and internet access managers. Fortunately a company in China “Sangfor” www.sangfor.com ha released an IAM “Internet Access Managment Device”

ATS All Technology Solutions is a Gold Partner for South Africa.
Some highlights of the product

* Bandwidth Management
* Application control
* URL Filter
* Traffic control
* Information Control
* Behaviour Analysis

So in laymen’s terms:

You can track not only where your expensive bandwidth is going, you are able to see who, what, when and where traffic is going.

Don’t want employees using WhatsApp, no problem, turn it off.
Only want to allow Facebook during lunch hours. set the condition.

Want to give employees access to Facebook, but not allow facebook games and videos.
Not a problem only block facebook games and videos but allow access to Facebook.

Don’t want your employees sending out word documents on email. No problem. Just tell the aim to remove attachments with .doc and .docx

Want to see what your staff are sending out in emails. Not a problem. Go look at what your staff are sending and you can even read the emails, SSL not a problem.

“Please note that you will need to update your IT policy and Notify employees that all data and network information is tracked on the company network”

For more information on Sangfor IAM, please visit here
Brochure and video available on the site.


From R995 Rental Per Month (36 Months) OR Purchase once off from R28 000.
ATS will be able to increase productivity by 15-45%. Please fill in contact form for quote and demonstration

Contact Us

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1) http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/social-media-affecting-workplace-productivity-report/articleshow/54915706.cms

2) https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/social-media-addiction-the-productivity-killer.html

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