THE Chester Grosvenor Hotel and Spa has banned staff from using social networking site Facebook.
Some employers believe staff can spend too long messaging friends and up-loading photographs instead of doing the work for which they are paid.
The Chester Grosvenor says it believes its policy to be fair because staff can still message their friends on their break using a computer in the canteen.
Marketing manager Penta Clark said: “There was never any one person in particular who was banned from using Facebook. It was decided to block Facebook on our internal network as although we recognise that it is a useful tool for staff to keep in touch with their family and friends it is not necessary for the business.
“I asked around a few friends who work in various places in Chester over the weekend and discovered that most of their internet access policies are much stricter than they are here. I think the fact that we have a terminal in the canteen for staff to use at their leisure shows a fairly relaxed attitude.”
Cheshire County Council also blocks employees from accessing such sites although again staff can use certain computers for such purposes on their breaks.
Bank of America has a strict policy which means staff cannot access social networking sites while sitting at their desks but this is to ensure there is no chance customers’ personal information could find its way on to publicly-accessible sites.
Spokesman Paul Lawler, who is a member of Facebook, said there were “dedicated internet areas” in the gym and cafe where employees can browse the net while on their break.
He added: “Our security system is very robust and we do restrict access to certain sites. There has to be some flexibility, but some sites we do block, not just for productivity reasons.”
Mr Lawler said there was also an intranet which was also used as an internal social network.
Many companies and organisations prevent their workforce from accessing the popular site from their computer network along with other sites such as Bebo and MySpace.
Social networking sites are not always regarded as the boss’s enemy. Nick Harding, operations director of Cruise nightclub, used Facebook as a successful marketing tool to build excitement and spread the word ahead of its launch date. The Cruise page now has 5,500 members.