The recent trend shows that many companies are restricting access to Social Media Sites at work for the employees. The employers have the view that employees take multiple breaks to spend time on such sites, which in turn lead to loss in productivity.
One thing is to keep in mind is that employees already have access to Social Media Sites via personal devices. A social media policy should include all usage including usage during work hours on personal devices.
In my view, allowing access to Social Media Sites at work to the employees should depend on the type of Business a Company is mainly into.
Social Media at work should not be allowed in –
Companies in which Data privacy is required – In such companies’ use of Social Media Sites are to be restricted at work, use of any type of Smartphone should also be not allowed as the employees can access Social Media sites on Smartphone and get the information out of the company premises. Example – Companies dealing in collections of the credit cards, Companies which require customers to pay over the phone by card or cheque, companies dealing with customers personal and financial information, companies dealing in Insurance etc.
Companies in which work requires full focus of the employee – Allowing Social Media access in such businesses might distract the employees at work. Social media can be addicting and time consuming. Employees can easily consume hours of unproductive time on social media websites.
Social Media at work should be allowed in –
Company in which the work is done in small tasks and there are daily targets for the employees –As the task is done in parts, the employees having access to Social Media can use it to take small break after one task is completed. Such small refreshing breaks will help the employees in being more productive at work. Studies show that employee’s energy levels and stamina improve by as much as 25% after taking breaks throughout the day.
Companies in which productivity of an employee is measured by the quantity and quality of the work– Productivity is not a measure of the time employees spend at work engaged in non-work activities. It’s a measure of output. Use of social media can actually help increase employee output. The employee should be measured on the target achieved and the quality maintained. In this case, access to Social Media Sites will help employees to refresh themselves and their minds.
HR consultancy firms–Allowing access to Social Media Sites to employees in such businesses will be of great help. The employees can take help of LinkedIn to get the right candidate for the right job. The job postings can be done on Facebook pages, on different groups on Facebook, LinkedIn page, LinkedIn Groups and on Twitter, requesting interested candidates to apply for the job. HR consultancy firms can take the help of Social Media Sites for Business Opportunities, Contact Generation, Recruitment, and Crowd Sourcing. Posting job openings on different Social Media Sites will also help in increasing traffic on the company’s website.
Advertisement agency – Advertisement agencies should allow access to Social Media Sites to employees at work as these sites can help them in Brand building with the customer, helps in getting Customer feedback/ ratings about the goods. The Social Media Sites can be used to get the content go dynamic, you have to give audience something unique that they can’t get elsewhere, also give them a reason to shout about it. If you get those things right, you can achieve massive return on investment. YouTube can be of a great help to run advertising campaigns. Employees of such firm can help the content reach to maximum number of audience by sharing the content on their own pages.
The employer should encourage the employees to use Social Media Sites while at work.
Companies selling goods and services – Social Media Sites help in increasing the sales by lead generation. It also helps in increasing the number of customer, helps with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Query resolution (if any), and increase repeated visits on the website. Customers can be updated with the availability of the particular items in the store or website. Product descriptions can also be shared with the audiences on Social Networking Sites. Companies can take help of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to promote the product line.
Employees of such organisations can be encouraged to use the Social Media Sites and spread the word in each of their friend circles. Employees can help the company by answering to any questions or queries regarding the product on behalf of the company.
Here, allowing access to the employees would be of great help as no one person will be responsible for promoting the products of the company. Employees will feel more engaged with the companies work and will be more loyal to the company.
Blocking social media access can reduce productivity of employees, as the employees will spend more time finding a way to the sites they want to visit. Social media is already a part of daily life. Employees can be responsible with their Social Media use at work. There will always be employees who will waste productive time at work.
Employer should encourage the employees to use the Social Media in a right manner and in favor of the business.