If you work in a Government office and really enjoy spending what should be working ours on social media, we have some bad news.
Plans are being made to block access to social media sites for civil servants as they spend quite a lot of time on it as it is.
In a report on IT Web Africa, Zambia’s Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska said “My office is working on e-governance and Zambia Telecommunications Company, together with the Ministry of Communications, Transport, Works and Supply is already rolling it out. This is the one to be used by civil servants in offices.”
Minister of Communications, Transport, Works and Supply Yamfwa Mukanga said “the Zambian government has decided to block access to social media in government offices because it was promoting laziness.”
Mukanga said his ministry will issue a directive to the Zambia Information and Communication Technology (ZICTA) to check sites that are abused and block them so that only those that are appropriate can be accessed during working hours.
We need to understand that this is different from controlling freedom of expression by for example opposition parties or groups who love to air their views on social media pages, some which have been banned!
We need to see it as a way to get people to be more productive at work because yes, some really just go to work for the internet access to social media and movie downloads.
Banning social media is not new. Other organizations have set up schedules that allow those sites to only be accessible during lunch hour or after working hours (but nobody can really stay after hours so no point really).
We also have arguments on why it should not be totally banned:
- it’s the new news channel. Many depend on social media to get information about what’s going on, preferring their newsfeeds to TV or radio which they feel give biased information.
- It’s a great time-out. Spending some time on social media allows employees gather their thoughts from inspiration they see there.
- It helps employees and managers observe what the competition is doing. However, if the company has its own social media manager, then he/she will handle all that.
We’re just not sure it’s as effective as the authorities expect. As regards the human aspect of business, employees can not exactly work non-stop without pausing to catch their breath, and at that point a personal smartphone with an active data bundle may just bring down all efforts that were started in the first place.
What are your thoughts?