5 reasons not to ban social media in the office

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/03/business/opinion-keen-social-media-office/

This article discusses reasons why social media should be allowed in office settings during work hours. This has been a common debate among corporations worldwide and I think it is one that we will soon encounter. Many companies believe social media within the workplace leads to unproductive and unrelated behavior that disrupts the work of employees. However, some argue that social media in the workplace builds a stronger culture and allows people to develop multitasking skills they otherwise might not acquire. Additionally, some claim that “banning” such a freedom in the workplace is impossible and that people will find ways to access it no matter what. I think there are strong arguments for both sides and as a corporate officer in this day and age, I’m not sure how I would manage this freedom. 

From personal experience at my internship at a large corporate office, I found it difficult to complete an entire workday without accessing some type of social media. In fact, a few landmark events (for example, the birth of the royal baby or the Proposition 8 decision) happened while I was at work and I heard about them because I happened to check social media during the workday. 

As a soon-to-be full time employee, do you think companies should prohibit the use of social media while at work? Have you had any personal experiences with this issue? 

 

Katie Friedlander

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5 Responses to 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office

  1. vgoldbri says:

    Generally I think that Social Media can be used in a good way, also at one’s workplace. Social Media might connect employees more to each other and create a stronger sense of community or just helps one to get through the day in a better mood. If clever initiated by employers employees could also generate value for the company they work for if they where encouraged to create blogs about their ordinary working day at company x or if they could engage in direct conversation with customers. But I also have to say that there are some people who are addicted to social media and spend hours serving the web. This of course cannot be tolerated by an employer. To differentiate these “addicted employees” from other employees seems to be a hard job, therefore it is way easier for an employer to just forbid the use of social media at all.

  2. This is a very interesting topic, especially for those of us who are about to enter the work force. I don’t really see how social media during work hours can be beneficial; I think it’s definitely a distraction. Following co workers on social media sites outside of work hours might build a sense of community within the company, however I don’t think it’s necessary or beneficial during work hours. That being said, I don’t think it’s possible to eliminate social media at work. Nowadays social media is almost like email or text messages- people are constantly checking it whether they realize it or not. It’s become another aspect to communication in society today. Social media notifications get sent directly to my phone, so I am constantly checking my social media whether I want to or not. I don’t think this is particularly harmful to people’s work, but I don’t see it as beneficial either.

  3. djuillet says:

    I think the article is short sighted. During my summer internship, social media was used as a market research tool. The commercial team would ask questions of patients and healthcare providers – physicians, nurses, pharmacists- using social media. The team would use it as an opportunity to find out from patients what’s bothering them – where do they need help. Also, they would post questions on provider sites and ask them about how satisfied they are with current treatments and what new treatments are needed. Besides formal research, employees in general, scan social media sites to see what the buzz is on a variety of topics, so employees use it to aid in doing their jobs. Social media is a great tool for understanding the needs of the customers and in today’s market where the buzz is all about being customer focused this can be a great advantage over the competition for any company with the insight to take advantage of it. It has the added bonus of being quick and inexpensive. The other thing the company did was create their own social media site for employees only. Because it’s a global company, employees from all over the world can compare notes on a common problem and discuss solutions.

  4. sweisser says:

    I believe that social media can in general be a good thing, especially if it’s incorporated within the business (as some of the other replies were saying). I also agree that it would be impossible to block entirely with people’s access to their own mobile devices. Yet there should probably be some monitoring system in place to make sure that no one is spending excessive amounts of time on social media especially if it’s not for the benefit of the company. I have no idea how one would do that, especially in the case of mobile devices; I guess it would come down to creating a strong company culture that encourages appropriate social media usage.

  5. sarahproman says:

    Social media at the workplace is a complicated topic. While it is inevitable for employees to check their social networks at work, I am not sure that putting policies in place to limit use is the best idea. Employees are, for the most part, adults and monitoring what they do on a minute to minute basis at work should not be a company’s priority. I think that social media at work is fine as long as people get their work done. So while it is almost impossible to monitor who is spending time on their social media and who isn’t, I think just monitoring which employees are getting their work done and which are not should be enough indication of how social media affects productivity in the workplace. If employees can be 100% productive during the work day, then does it really matter if they spend some time on their social networks? I don’t think so.

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