It is an interesting theory that a government can tell why staff are accessing a particular website during working hours, and reach the conclusion that these sites, including the government news agency, are not relevant to their work.
Whilst it can always be argued that there are going to be some staff who take advantage of the internet connection at work to surf for non work related information, surely taking the steps of blocking 50 websites, as the Jordanian government have done, could be actually preventing some staff from doing their work?
It is hard to believe that of 70 million websites Jordanian Public Sector workers visited in a month, only 130,000 (0.19%) were work related. It is a particular struggle to understand why the news agency has also been included in the ban as surely within the Public Sector it is vital for one hand to know what the other is doing and the news agency presumably supplies this vital information? In addition, public sector ought to touch every aspect of our daily lives. The public servants who are employed to ensure that the right decisions are made through policy, public spend and so on, surely need access to information about the people and issues of import?
There is also a growing feeling at grassroots level that many in the public sector, here in the UK at least, are unaware to what extent the internet is part of our daily lives, and it is only slowly that politicians and public sector are realising here how important social media tools – Twitter, Facebook etc – are in reaching the constituents. Many are still not tech savvy in the public sector, and printing out emails, for instance, is a waste of resources.
However, on the other hand, if you as an employer had an inkling that your staff were wasting almost half their day surfing for personal reasons rather than to carry out their jobs, what action would you take? Either way, it shows that social media is here to stay.