Does your firm and should your firm have policies for social media usage in the workplace?

In my previous role as an analyst at a large investment bank, I was not allowed to use social media at work. It did not matter that I practically spent my entire life in the office. Plenty of firms have these rules in place, often citing distraction, lost productivity, and potential data security and reputation concerns. These are all valid reasons to be wary of letting employees use social media. According to poll by Roythornes, a UK based law firm, a third of companies are monitoring their employees’ social media usage.

Is that paradigm changing as a result of the ubiquity of social media platforms in our day to day lives? If we are consuming news, communicating, and doing a whole host of other things on a social media platform, then does disallowing all forms of social media a valid and fair policy?

My opinion is that companies should allow employees to use social media in the workplace, so long as their overall productivity doesn’t decline. You have to trust your employees to make sure that they prioritize their time in the most efficient manner. If it’s not social media, there are plenty of other sites they can use to distract themselves. It all depends on company culture that is set by top management and middle managers. Regardless of your stance on the issue, it is important to have a policy in the first place. The poll indicates that nearly a third of the companies don’t have policies in place dictating use (or lack thereof). Employees need to know what they can and cannot do in the office to make it properly functional.

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One Response to Does your firm and should your firm have policies for social media usage in the workplace?

  1. sydhavely says:

    You;re right to focus on the issue of social media needing a work policy and I happen to agree with you that social media is ubiquitous and to disallow it in the workplace when work is becoming more 24/7 all the time, would be naive on the part of employers. Even if it’s not work related, such as a text from your wife asking when you’ll be home or that your daughter is thrilled with something good that happened in school, is that so bad? i think not. Plus, I use social media to network with my friends who are in many cases professional colleagues. So it’s both social and work-related. Blurred lines abound in the digital age. Great post, Abhay.

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