Not all solutions, policies or 'freedoms' will suit all. I wouldn't want a bulldozer driver being distracted by IM conversations. However - employers sometimes forget that worktime is also the employee's time and that they have chosen to be there. As the social space expands employers that do not actively hobble their staff will be more sought after and the workers will be happier. Benefits will flow - maybe not immediately enough for some 'Bosses' - and my workplace is a practical example of that. I won't go into specifics but the place I choose to work for realised the benefits of having a 'social savvy' workforce about a year ago. To the point of now actively initiating staff seminars to educate the old duffers like me! Not bad for an old school company 50 years old.
Practical benefits have been re-establishing contacts with good past workers and recapturing their training and skills. Well, those that can use the social pages... the time that an employer begrudges for networking will bite them. Our younger staff know that work has to be completed and stay back to do so. For free, out of respect. The odd out-of-hours emergency has been promptly dealt with adding to kudos for the business. That is worth $$$ for tolerating the odd daily FB message. Those that 'get it' will survive the new competitive more easily.
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