Social Media and The Workplace

For many, social media has become a part of their everyday lives. Social media is also now more accessible because it is available pretty much anywhere, especially on mobile devices such as cellphones, tablets and iPods. Has it become so routine and have we become so involved that we participate in social media even during work hours? If so, should it be acceptable in the workplace or should there be serious consequences if an employee is caught on Facebook during work hours?

Through a survey conducted in an article, there are very “few organizations that have social media policies in place. Less than one-quarter of those surveyed work for a company with a specific policy, while nearly one-quarter say they have no policy. At other organizations it’s part of the general guidelines for the use of technology” (Ladika, 2012). It also describes that employers should take advantage of employees using social media to be able to see what is said about the company and to connect with customers (Ladika, 2012). It doesn’t make a difference whether employees are allowed complete access, or if they have monitored access, or even if social media is completely blocked because they will still access at least once during the workday; “3/4 use their personal mobile devices to access social media at least once a day on the job and 60% use it several times each workday” (Ladika, 2012). In addition, companies may benefit from this because 40% of what is being shared through social media is work-related (Ladika, 2012).

According to Forbes, “most executives are keen on striking a balance of acceptable use” (Savitz, 2012). They also came out with an interesting article that used the icebreaker game “2 truths and a lie” so demonstrate how companies misunderstand the use of social media in the workplace. They mentioned three statements, 2 are the truth and 1 is a lie. Can you guess which of the three is a lie before reading on?

  1. As the use of social applications increased, so did the use of other communications tools like instant messaging and webmail. (Savitz, 2012)

  2. Most employees keep Facebook or Twitter open in the background while they’re at work, like email.  (Savitz, 2012)

  3. Employees that use social applications are less productive than employees that do not.  (Savitz, 2012)

If you guessed 3, then you’re right! Employees are not less productive when they use social media. “Same devices and remote access to enterprise applications mean employees regularly work during ‘off hours’ increasing overall productivity. Productivity bonuses are associated with the ability to safely use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to meet corporate objectives in areas like marketing, customer service and sales” (Savitz, 2012). The point is that all employees, regardless of having a social media policy in place or not should use social media wisely and using their best judgement. They should also be very aware of what is posted online because they are representing their company.

Another great article from Forbes states that “social media training in the workplace [is going to be as] common as ethics and diversity training” (Meister, 2012). The article outlines 5 ways that will ensure companies do so in the right way. (A complete description of each one is in the article).

  1. Start early

  2. Create a branded program for social media training

  3. Be specific and explicit about what you want

  4. Include game mechanics to engage and reward employees

  5. Create a vehicle for continuous improvement


Ladika, Susan. (2012). Worker Social Media Usage High in the Workplace, Survey Shows. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from

Meister, Jeanne. (2012). Social Media Training Is Now Mandatory: Five Ways To Make Sure Your Company Does It Right. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from

Savitz, Eric. (2012). Social Media In The Office: Two Truths and a Lie. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from


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