Don’t Block Social Media Access in Workplace – Here is Why


Social media has become part of people’s life nowadays. Serving more than just a way to pass the time, social media is increasingly playing important role in one’s personal and professional life. Professionally, social media can help enhance communication in the business and globalisation of social work while reaching out to wider audience and attract more potential clients. Nevertheless, using too much social media also comes with its own disadvantages and  bad influences. For example, it could reduce productivity, create ethical dilemmas, threaten clients’ privacy and confidentiality, and be a challenge for company regulations.

But is it true that social media will decrease employee’s productivity at the workplace?

According to a survey conducted by University of Melbourne, employees need to zone out to recharge their concentration for once in a while. Have better concentration means better performance and productivity.  Thus, surfing through web for personal use is perfect way to do it, as long as it does not take too long.

Another study by Lars Ivarsson and Patrik Larsson also shows that Internet surfing is actually a consequences of organisation’s inability to come up with decent work tasks to fill the whole day. Employees feel the need to recharge themselves and social media here can give some kind of recovery for burnout employees.

Supporting the statement above, WD Storage has gathered a number of surveys on the impact of social media use in workforce. It revealed that letting workers use social media for personal matters can actually increase productivity by 9 percent. It also noted that about 24 percent company give access to social media in the workplace every year – which is a good news.

Business leaders agreed that social media will have a good impact on workplace culture. WD Storage reported 41 percent executives believed that social media helps build and maintain workplace culture. Another 46 percent said that social media helps build and maintain relationships among colleagues.

Another statistic mentioned in WD Storage found that 1 in 5 jobseekers would refuse to work for an employer who do not allow them to access social media at work. If the company has a strict social media policy, 26 percent of employees will be demotivated, 14 percent will try to work around the policy, while another 3 percent other will consider leaving the company.

If social media is found to be important for most people, then how can you maintain the usage of social media for productivity and engagement? Here are some tips to do so:

  1. Be part of social media – In order to maintain, you first need to understand social media. After you know and be part of this social tools, you will understand how employees use them so you can make better strategy about the use of social media platform in the workplace.

  2. Monitor the use – The best approach is to monitor the use of social media at work. Don’t be too strict but acknowledge your employees whether they can access while on the clock or not. What important is that you should make sure that employees are still engaged with work even with social media around.

  3. Write policy – Written policy and procedure can always keep everyone on track. It can also maintain consistency in social media practice.

  4. Partner with employees – Social media is now and then a useful thing to promote company and improve both personal and organisational branding. Therefore, you can make use of this strategy while still keeping your staffs happy and engaged.

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