Unilever staff use Facebook


So what? Big deal right? We all use it right?

Not so. A lot of organisations are blocking their employees access to Facebook and other sites and services like Instant Messaging, Skype and iTunes. They’re deemed a time waster, security risk or both.

I saw this first hand at a friends house last weekend when I wanted to show them the cool new LittleGordon.com website. That site requires Flash and my friends PC was locked down and we couldn’t install it. Rats…as my mother would say!

I totally understand why companies want to lock their machines down but it’s going to become harder and harder as the Gen Y workforce takes hold. I was reminded of this whilst reading Go Ahead, Use Facebook in BusinessWeek.


At Unilever, half of the desktop software and services used by employees comes from outside the company, and a lot of it shouldn't be there—Skype and iTunes, to name just a couple. "We can't stop them," says Chris Turner, Unilever's chief technology officer. "They're not accepting no as an answer."


Not what many want to hear but I’m a firm believer in allowing access – my friends who have locked down systems come home and just don’t use their computers. It’s too hard for them and they less computer savvy because of it. It’s creating another digital divide IMHO.

Good on Unilever for taking the initiative.

Comments (2)

  1. Michael D says:

    Whilst I agree with the sentiment unfortunately a lot of us are coming under increasing pressure from regulators such as the FSA in the UK and don’t have any real choice in the matter regardless of how appropriate we consider these actions.

    I don’t agree with Chris Turner saying they can’t stop them though that is just nonsense as there are plenty of market offerings available to do so.

  2. Steven Yarrowville says:

    "We can’t stop them", you can’t. We’ve seen similar things in our company … think about it…

    How can you block facebook? sure block it through the proxy… blacklist it etc. but employees will still find it.. at home, on their 3G iphone. The internet is pervsaive – you can’t keep it out – and if employees decided they want to associate themselves with a company or workplace you can’t stop that.

    Anything who thinks they can is simply wrong. The answer here isn’t to reject – it’s to cautiously embrace.

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