An interesting debate for social media professionals is, and will probably be for some time, social media and the workplace. There are always strong proponents for using social media in the workplace and those that are strongly against it. Those of us in the communications field know how important social media can be for brand awareness, marketing purposes and just plain communication with customers. Many employees have also learnt the impact of negative comments or complaints about their employer on a social media site.
What has started to become more convoluted is whether employees should be allowed to use their personal social media accounts at work, and whether what is posted on their personal social media accounts can affect them at work. I think with the growing use of smart phones and tablets, even if a company blocks social media channels at work, employees can still surf or post on social media accounts with these devices on company time.
Thompson Reuters released an interesting video on responsible social media in the workplace. The statistics are very interesting about the use of social media in the workplace and how much posting about your employer on personal time can affect you.
Unfortunately, like with anything there are always going to be a few bad apples that spoil the bunch. If employers were to allow social media use at work then there will be people spending a lot of time surfing the net. On the flip side, it is almost hypocritical to say social media is an important tool for business purposes, but our employees can’t use it themselves.
I think as the video above states, the risk and rewards of social media use are so high that employers aren’t sure whether they should invest in training for their employees. I think companies should start training their employees about proper social media use, because a lot of the time the problem is that the employee just isn’t aware of how to use social media properly.
As social media grows and changes it will continue to be a hot debate. Do you think employees should be able to use social media for personal use at work? What are some parameters employers can set to help guide employees?