In this day and age, social media is a huge part of people’s everyday lives. According to this CNN article, Americans in 2016 spent over 10 hours a day consuming media. This is an incredible amount of time being spent in front of a screen. To be sure, some of these hours spill over into work time as well. The natural question then becomes whether or not employees should be able to use social media during their work hours. The answer, as many times in life, is: it depends. Below is an explanation of when to allow social media, and when its use is not acceptable.
When To Allow Social Media at Work
Social media can at times be a great distraction from the work at hand. It can also be a great tool that can be utilized by your employees, depending on how it is used. Many companies, especially companies focused on marketing, greatly rely on social media. In fact, without social media, many marketing companies that exist now may not even be in existence. This is because there is a great deal of marketing companies that primarily focus on using social media to get out their services and attract customers.
One of the main arguments for allowing social media in the workplace is that it can help promote the business. It allows for a connectedness between companies and customers that simply was not their before. The type of work that people are required to do plays a role in whether social media should be allowed or not as well. For more creative work, and perhaps more free, decentralized work environments, social media use may not be a problem. It may even inspire creativity in some cases. Again, it mostly depends on the type of work that is involved. This brings us to the argument against social media use.
When Not To Use Social Media
Social media, as stated before, can most certainly be a distraction. Where this can be seen quite clearly is in jobs that require less creativity and connectedness and simply require completion. There are many types of jobs that require this type of work. A white collar example of this could be an accountant working with numbers, or something similar. Typically these types of office jobs do not require a great amount of creativity and simply need to be accomplished.
Many blue collar-type jobs do not require someone to use social media. There are times when it can be beneficial, but for the most part, the work simply needs to get done. This type of work could include welders, electricians and plumbers, as well as others. Typically, these types of jobs do not require a great amount of social media use. In fact, in some jobs being distracted by social media can even be dangerous.
In conclusion, whether social media should be used or not depends on the type of job that an employee is doing. If an employee is a marketer, they actually should be using social media. If their job is less creative and more straightforward, they most likely should not. Hopefully these general guidelines and ideas will help you in deciding and implementing social media usage policies in your business.