Social Media in the Workplace

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More and more workers are logging onto Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media during the day, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. It’s not all for personal reasons; many workers are using social media job-related purposes, the study found.

“Today’s workers incorporate social media into a wide range of activities while on the job,” the study’s authors wrote. “Some of these activities are explicitly professional or job-related, while others are more personal in nature.
“The two most popular reasons employees use social media at work are not related to their jobs. Of the employees who use social media in the office, 34 percent do so to take a mental break from their job, and 27 percent use it to connect with family and friends, the study found.

 

Social networks have emerged as powerful ways to reach audiences with effective advertising campaigns further clouding the issue of social media use at work.

Facebook is the most popular social network for employees. The study found that 19 percent of workers have used Facebook for a work-related purpose, whereas 14 percent have turned to LinkedIn for a work-related purpose and just 3 percent have used Twitter for work.

Workers say there are many positives to using social media in the office. For example, nearly 80 percent of employees who log on to a social network for work-related purposes believe it is a useful tool for networking or finding new job opportunities, while 71 percent think it is useful for staying in touch with others in their industry.

On the flip-side over half of the employees surveyed who use social media for work-related purposes think doing so distracts them from the assignment and projects they need to do.

In the end, however, most workers think the positives outweigh the negatives. More than half of those surveyed think using social media ultimately helps their job performance, and only 22 percent believe it mostly hurts their job performance.

Organizations are recognizing how popular social media is becoming in the workplace, and thus are developing policies surrounding its use. More than half of the employees surveyed said their employer has a policy about social media use at work. Such a policy can provide some clarity for employees as employers strive to allow social media to improve productivity and sales while limiting its effect as a workplace distraction.

Hooks Systems of Wilmington, N.C. offers its clients a variety of strategies to accommodate as well as control the use of  social media by employees during work hours.

Sources:
Chad Brooks, Business News Daily–follow him on  Twitter.

The Pew Research Center

Gartner