Social Media in The Workplace – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

• Collaboration,Digital Workplace

Social media has significantly changed the way people communicate at home and at work. Moreover, social media platforms present a great opportunity for businesses in terms of public relations, recruiting, organizational learning, and internal as well as external communications.

82 percent[1] of employees believe that social media can improve work relationships and 60 percent think that it can help with better decision-making.

But at the same time, employers find social media to be a productivity killer with more than half[2] of the US employers reportedly blocking access to social media platforms at work.

Social Media in The Workplace

The truth is, introducing social media in the workplace can be a rather tricky decision but the way you implement it can make all the difference. Instead of giving complete access to every social media platform, which can be rather distracting to employees, you can focus on social collaboration while limiting its access to only the employees working within the company.

Pros and Cons of social media in the workplace

Pros

Cons

1. Allows employees to take a much-needed mental break 1. Decreases productivity
2. Improves employee engagement 2. Social media fails
3. Strengthens team bonding and workplace relationships 3. Causes jealousy among employees

Pros of social media in the workplace

1. Allows employees to take a much-needed mental break

According to a survey, the major reason why most employees use social media at work is to take a mental health break from all the stress of their job. Social media gives people an escape into the digital world. It allows them to view anything they want to, without having to walk outside their office or go to the break room.

2. Improves employee engagement

Giving social media access to employees on their work devices strengthens their confidence, makes them feel valued, boosts their mood, and increases employee engagement. When employees recognize that their employers have confidence in them, it directly translates into better work as employees feel more responsible and accountable for the work that they do and the amount of time that they spend on social media.

3. Strengthens team bonding and workplace relationships

Social media can encourage casual conversations between colleagues and help build healthy workplace relationships. It is the easiest and quickest way to encourage employees to interact with their coworkers even after work. Since it is a more natural way of building connections, it can help improve camaraderie and team bonding in the organization.

Cons of social media in the workplace

1. Decreases productivity

Too much of everything can be dangerous, and that includes social media as well. On average, people spend approximately 2 hours and 23 minutes[3] on social media every day. If your employees spend even half of that time scrolling through social media platforms during work hours, it can affect their productivity immensely. There is so much content available on social media with new content being uploaded every second, it’s way too easy to fall down the spiral and get addicted.

2. Social media fails

Social media can both make and break your reputation. Irresponsible posts or comments can quickly go viral and create public outrage. There have been many instances before where people were fired from their jobs for being rude, degrading, and insulting on social media which can also bring a lot of heat on the company itself.

3. Causes jealousy among employees

People tend to post a lot of personal stuff on social media — New car, new house, a new piece of jewelry, or a big vacation. Seeing their colleagues enjoy all these things in life can make people jealous which can, in turn, drag down employee morale, team bonding, and directly affect the team’s efficiency.

How social media affects productivity and mindset of employees

Social media influences all of our lives as we spend a disproportionate amount of time on it. While social media was built with the aim to help people connect and share their views, now it is all about people creating and consuming content at a tremendous rate. There is always a new hashtag, a new outrage, and a new debate waiting for you every time you open it.

Accordingly to a study[4], employees that use social media to interact with their colleagues tend to be more motivated and they often come up with innovative ideas at work. On the other hand, when employees interact with individuals outside their company, they tend to become less motivated and show less initiative at work. This study clearly suggests that the impact and effect of social media on employees really depends on who they interact with. Employees who interact directly with their colleagues are able to share and create meaningful work experiences, but those that make connections with professionals outside their organizations are unproductive and distracted at work.

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Finding a healthy alternative for social media for employees and teams

It’s clear that organizations need some way to encourage casual conversations among their employees but giving access to complete social media can not just hamper productivity but it can also decrease employee engagement and retention.

It’s good for employees to stay connected online, but they should also be focused when it comes to work. Social media platforms can only be a temporary solution for companies to encourage employees to interact with their colleagues and share their thoughts online. If you don’t switch to a healthy alternative soon, you will start seeing the negative effects of social media in your organization which will invariably affect efficiency and team bonding. That is why organizations should focus more on social collaboration instead of giving uninterrupted access to social media platforms.

A healthy alternative that encourages social collaboration is a digital workplace platform that allows employees to network and collaborate easily. The biggest benefit of a digital workplace is that it doesn’t give access to anyone outside the organization. By giving you the access controls, it lets you decide who should have access to which parts of the platform.

With a digital workplace, employees can share their opinions and discuss important projects without any privacy issues since the platform is only accessible by employees within the company. It’s also possible to create private communication channels within the digital workplace to keep conversations restricted to your team only in case you are working on a confidential project.

With a single place to manage all their work tasks, documents, and conversations, employees will no longer be overwhelmed with multiple applications and it becomes easier for them to have contextual conversations. More importantly, employees don’t get distracted by random viral posts online or the latest online outrage which can help them focus better at work. A digital workplace gives employees all the benefits of social media but by limiting it to the organization, it helps avoid all the disadvantages and distractions for traditional social media.

Kissflow: A digital workplace platform that nurtures social collaboration

Kissflow is a digital workplace platform that makes social collaboration easier by giving employees a centralized platform to collaborate, communicate, and manage their everyday work. It offers project management, centralized cloud storage, knowledge repository, as well as private and public communication channels.

With a focus on contextual collaboration, Kissflow helps streamline communication, projects, processes, tasks, and cases within an organization. It is an all-in-one application that connects all the disjointed business functions and allows your employees to communicate and collaborate in a more productive and efficient manner.

Ready to give Kissflow a try? Sign up today.


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