Social Media In The Workplace

Does your company allow your employees to use social media while at work?  There are definitely pros and cons to allowing social media in the work place.  One thing is certain, social media is not going away so it is important for employers to think about how social media might fit within their culture.

As an employer, the idea of employees spending long periods of time on social media is unproductive and unacceptable.  Most employers are willing to allow employees to take an occasional browse on social media but they are concerned about those employees that abuse social media.  So the question that many employers are facing is what should we do?  Weighing the pros and cons of social media in the workplace can help a company reach the best business decision for their organization.

Some pros of social media in the workplace:

  • A positive presence online can boost a business’s reputation and attach potential candidates.
  • Social media can be a useful creative communication tool and free advertising.
  • Since social media is a way for people to communicate, allowing the use social media at work could boost employee morale.

Some cons of social media in the workplace:

  • The major concern is the loss of productivity.  Most employees will occasionally browse their social media sites to look at pictures or get an update on the latest news but what about the employees who spend excessive amounts of time looking at various social networking sites?  This can definitely have an impact on a business.
  • What happens when an employee says something negative about the company?  When employees are upset, they may have an impulse reaction and say something online they don’t necessarily mean which can have lasting effects.
  • Although social media sites typically don’t take up much bandwidth, videos like on YouTube can and this could create issues for your IT department.

With so many questions around social media some employers don’t feel comfortable allowing employees to use social media and block it completely.  However, most businesses today allow their employees to look at social media but still maintain a level of control.  To do this, it’s important to set expectations of employees use of social media by having a social media policy and to communicate this to your employees.  Some employers only allow employees to look at social media while on breaks, at lunch or before or after hours so it’s important to look at what might be the right balance for your organization.

Whatever decision your company makes in regards to social media, it’s smart to think through the benefits and potential obstacles and do some reach!  If your company is thinking about implementing a social media policy and needs any assistance, feel free to contact any of the HR Professionals at the Achilles Group, at 281-469-1800, and we are more than happy to help!

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