social media at work

Working, yet thinking of social media.

Whether employers like it or not, they will have to address social media use in the workplace (thanks smartphones!). In fact, for some jobs, social media use is required because it’s part of an employee’s job function. Yet some employees simply use social media to vent (check out this collection of tweets from the @PaneraProblems_ Twitter account).

Like Justin mentioned in our lecture, a lot of companies are now drafting a social media use policy and this is a good thing for every company to have, even if the majority of employees are not using social media as part of their job.

Companies like Best Buy address this issue in their social media policy:

Remember, your responsibility to Best Buy doesn’t end when you are off the clock. For that reason, this policy applies to both company sponsored social media and personal use as it relates to Best Buy.

This Best Buy policy pretty much solves the quandary of “should you leave your workplace out of your social biographies?” I don’t think it matters if you do or not. Chances are, through the people you talk to and the things you talk about, observant people will probably figure out where you work anyway. You can’t really hide from it, so you might as well be mindful of it when posting content.

I would think it would behoove employees to read their company’s social media policy regardless, but some companies do try to make it fun and worth the time. One of my former workplaces added a gamification element, quizzing us on the company’s intranet about the policy and offering chances to win prizes like an iPad.

Overall, it makes good business sense for a company to have a social media policy in place so employees know where they stand. While some may not agree, it is completely OK for a company to track your computer use while at work. After all, you’re using company resources, most likely on company time. For example, if a supervisor sees that productivity has taken a nose dive while Facebook usage on the computers has increased, the boss may decide to block Facebook. It may seem harsh to those who are not abusing the privilege, but at the end of the day, the decision is based on what’s best for business.