Ask any young person trapped in a 9-to-5: accessing media for social and entertainment purposes is a highlight to an otherwise long and laborious day. Stumbling across the newest cat #meme or debating the relevancy of Lil B with a friend on Gchat is something many look forward to.
But young analysts working at JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and other financial firms on Wall Street are faced with a different reality: social media is banned altogether.
As Michael Kaplan reports in Dealbook: "Investment banks say regulation is the primary motivator for blocking social media. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, firms must keep a record of any business communication for three years. The rule applies to correspondence on any device or Web site. While firms are able to monitor e-mails and instant messages internally, it is impossible to track what one employee among hundreds of thousands is communicating on Twitter or through a Facebook chat."
Many of the banned sites at major banks, as well as consulting and law firms, include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and even Gmail.
Several analysts, however, have found loopholes. Many connect to their company's free Wi-Fi using smartphones or often opt for SoundClound and GrooveShark instead of Spotify when streaming music.
“In the office, you’ll often find people gathered around an iPad watching something on CNBC or Bloomberg they didn’t see in real time," said Goldman Sachs spokesperson Richard Siewert Jr.
There is hope, too. Kaplan reports that "by 2014, fewer than 30 percent of all large organizations are expected to be blocking employee access to social media. As other traditionally strait-laced industries like consulting and law increasingly incorporate social media in the workplace, the financial services are lagging."