Social Media in the Workplace – Like or Dislike?

May 22, 2014

One of the biggest discussions in the workplace at the moment is whether to allow employees access to social media whilst they are at work.

People are becoming more and more addicted to social media and most people will be on there for hours a day.

I think the answer to this question entirely depends on the nature and context of your job role. People are distracted all the time by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all day and every day due to the easy accessibility of social media – whether it be in their pockets on their smartphones or on their laptops at their desks.

The problem I have with social media is that nine times out of ten it will have an effect on productivity. Limiting social media time for just lunch hours and breaks does not totally take away and stifle a person’s fix.

However, as I said – it does entirely depend on the context of the job role. Limiting a social media marketer to their lunch hour on social media will obviously have a negative effect.

I think allowing your colleagues on social media during office hours should be somehow beneficial to the company and that they should be seeing some sort of return.

LinkedIn is now the best way to network – a day making new connections and gaining new contacts is not a day wasted. Sharing your blog posts via social media and gaining a stream of traffic to your website is also beneficial for both worker and company. The company gain traffic and more chance of a conversion where the employee gains gratification of being recognised through the amount of social shares they gain.

I think the worst possible thing to do as a manager is totally deprive access to social media by blocking all access to it at work. With the average person now spending between three to four hours a day on social media, some of this time will be spent during work hours. Blocking access will be like taking away a dummy from a child – some people rely on constantly communicating with others and if you take this away – you may see some of your staff go cold turkey, which will only have a negative effect.

If you do have a block on social media – I suggest you should lift this and just monitor the effect on productivity. There will be no major fluctuation and I think you will definitely see an increase in the morale of your team.

Communication within your team is vital whether it is internally or externally – blocking social media prevents this and, as previously mentioned, rules out the potential for any networking.

So let your employees like, share and tweet to their hearts content – these are just my opinions on the matter- I would love to know your policy and views on social media at work.

Many Thanks

Ben Lyons

Training Administrator at MTD Training 

(Image by basketman at

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