It is a common occurrence when a colleague or even boss spends plenty of time checking updates on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. Social media platforms have captured everyone’s attention. Now many people cannot imagine their lives without checking their phones even at work.
Therefore, the question arises: should the use of social networks in the office be prohibited? Or should actions be taken to make the virtual space less distracting? Social media use at work affects productivity and the work environment within the company. That is why this issue needs to be taken seriously.
The use of social networks in the office has become a dilemma for companies. On the one hand, employees spend a lot of time online, which sometimes reduces their productivity. Many enterprises also fear that confidential data may be leaked.
On the other hand, it is said that banning social media use at work can cause discomfort among workers. Many believe that not taking advantage of the multiple opportunities offered by the use of social media is a serious mistake.
In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of banning social media use at work.
Disadvantages of banning social media use for employees:
- Sociability among co-workers may decrease which can negatively influence performance in general. Strengthening relationships between colleagues is only possible when there is a friendly and collaborative work environment. If your workers know that they cannot chat with their colleagues on social networks, they may feel controlled.
- Social media as a recreational instrument at a certain time of the day allows employees to disconnect from their work for a moment and recharge, which may increase their productivity when they return from the break. If social media use is banned, many people will not be able to relax.
- Taking advantage of a large amount of content available that circulates on networks such as Twitter or LinkedIn allows workers to effectively find information related to the work they do. They can also keep up to date with the latest news regarding the sector to which the company belongs and interact with professionals in the area that can provide new knowledge and resolve questions or doubts of the employee about their work.
- If you want your brand or company to be well-known online, banning social media use is not even worth considering. Many entrepreneurs invest in advertising on social media platforms. Your workers can use their accounts to recommend your enterprise’s products. Also, if you want this marketing strategy to give results, it is best to hire a professional. Finding professionals is not hard if you know where to find them. Use Leadar, LinkedIn, or Indeed to find specialists who can help you take your company to the next level on the internet.
Today, most mobile phone companies offer data services that allow phones to be connected to the web 24 hours a day. For this reason, restricting the use of social networks in the office seems impossible.
The key to taking advantage of the use of these tools to obtain greater productivity is regulation. It is essential to have a clear policy that explains to employees how these platforms should be used during work. This implies determining clear guidelines as to the time allowed for social media use and information that may or may not be published online.
It is possible to take advantage of social networks within the company to strengthen the work environment and regulate the use of the latter to avoid major inconveniences.
If you think that banning social media use at work is something you want to implement, at least do not go too far.
Now, let’s check the advantages of banning social media use for employees when they are working:
- If you know that some of your workers’ hands are glued to their phones, it is time to take measures. If they spend too much time online, make sure they understand the consequences. Fines, reprimands, and additional work are one of the things that may scare people, but banning social media use is even worse for some.
- If your employees do not know how to handle social media use well, it can become a double-edged sword. If your workers are not professional and post anything they see on the internet, their reputation will likely suffer, since errors are visible to everyone online. They will also be exposed to trolls, people who are never satisfied with anything and bully others. You do not want your employees to feel down when they are working.
- If you worry that your company’s confidential data may be leaked, it is a solid reason to ban social media use for your workers. The establishment of clear rules regarding the use of social networks at work and the effective dissemination of the scope and guidelines of said policy among all employees of the company makes it possible to regulate the matter effectively. If you are an employer, make sure your workers know that if they leak any confidential data, they may face legal procedures.
- Social media may give your competitors clues about your strategies. It is one of the disadvantages of using social media platforms at work. Just like you can study your competitors, they can do the same with you. Some tools allow you to analyze the profile of your business and compare it with others. If your workers post something reckless or just anything by mistake about the company, your competitors will take advantage of it.
It is not easy to decide whether you should ban social media use at work or not. Everything is individual. If you trust your employees and know that they are responsible, then nothing can go wrong. However, if you feel that social media use is distracting and brings too many problems, think about what will happen if you tell your employees to stop using it at work. It is all in your hands. Do what you think is right for your company.