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Yammering Away at the Office

  • Date Submitted: 07/23/2010 06:01 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.9 
  • Words: 747
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In the article by Economist, titled “Yammering away at the office,” (Carter, 2010) the growing trend of social networking while at the workplace is addressed.   The article estimates that “Personal use of social networks during the working day was costing the British economy almost £1.4 billion ($2.3 billion) a year in lost productivity.”   However, not all of this enormous cost can be attributed totally to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace.   Instead, the article suggests that if some of the draconian measures, such as eliminating social networking from the workplace, were to be enacted, the average employee would simply revert to another type of socializing, such as sending personal e-mails to friends or gathering at the workplace water cooler for a quick chat; It’s simply part of the human nature to try and find something that is more convenient and suitable.   The article goes on to describe several instances where social networking and collaberation are being welcomed and even applauded in certain industries, such as the intelligence community, where the newly-created “A-Space” social networking tool will assist those in the community with connections to colleagues.   In the end, it seems that while social networking may be initially viewed as a nuissance, it can ultimately be crafted to be a business tool, or possibly even a workplace staple.
Some of the cross-cultural differences that have arisen in this case are the ability to see beyond stereotypical barriers and ethnocentric feelings that may exist amongst employees.   By “connecting” with others in the workplace via a non-physical means (e-mail, websites, etc.) it allows someone to share feelings and thoughts more fluidly than they would in a public arena or environment.   Additionally, the employee will not be as biased toward one person or another because there is no worry of public ridicule or accountability for doing so, something that is apparent in a physical situation.   The...

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