According to one recent study, more than 54 percent of companies ban the use of social media at work.
The ban consists of regulations over posting company pictures, publishing texts, or posting anything on personal or public sites during working hours. The other 46 percent are presumably okay with employees using social media at work.
However, those companies may be more than okay. As the following article looks at, they may just realize the case for social in the workplace.
Here are some good reasons why you, too, should consider allowing social media in your company:
Employees Will Be Distracted No Matter What
Some employers prohibit social media on the grounds that it can be a major distraction during the work day.
There’s quite a lot of proof that, left to their own devices, people check emails much more than they should, and when you add Facebook, Instagram and Twitter into the mix, that’s a whole lotta checkin’ going on. Based on this irrefutable argument, most employers frown on or even rule against, any interactions with social media during work.
However, employees will be distracted no matter what. Those who are predisposed to find excuses to waste time will find a way. And employees like that wasted time long before social media made its appearance. Before social media, there was the water cooler, the office bulletin board, the coworker’s desk, and the office kitchen.
By the same token that inefficient employees will always be time wasters, efficient employees won’t let social media temptations get the better of them. There are those who are ambitious and want to excel at their jobs, and there are those who seek out distractions between 9 and 5.
The two are very different animals, so don’t let one influence your office policy either way.
Social Media Can Help Your Company’s Bottom Line
More and more, companies are realizing that they can use their employees’ social media followers and public profiles for their own benefit. As long as the message is positive, social media, as applied by employees, can help your company’s bottom line.
One common example is when your company has an employee outing. When employees at the outing post pictures of smiling faces and happy families against the backdrop of an all-expenses paid company picnic, the public can’t help by react warmly.
When employees tweet that your company is sponsoring the local baseball team by buying everyone uniforms and pizza and ice cream, your business reputation is going to be a home run.
When you throw in the fact that all this free press and marketing is free, it gets more challenging to come up with solid reasons to block the use of social media at work.
Giving permission to employees to engage in social media at the workplace doesn’t have to be “all in” or “all out.” Every social freedom works best when there are guidelines set in place regarding its use.
Those who opt out of using social media need to be protected from being assimilated unwillingly into the “share everything” culture.
Social media at work should be a choice, not a mandate.
About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.
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