Advice and Guidance On Using Social Networks During Work Time

The 1990s saw the age of the internet and it’s fair to say that since its inception, the internet has changed the way we work, spend our leisure time, socialize and communicate. With the advent of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it has led to a cloudy area in terms of what can and can’t be done on these sites during working hours. In this article we explore what a social network is and the arguments for and against using social networks whilst at work.

What is a Social Network?

A social network is an internet site that allows users to share information, exchange opinions and communicate with other users, some of whom you physically know and some of whom you don’t, depending on the network. Sites such as Facebook and My Space were developed as a way of sharing information with your friends and family members whilst keeping in touch remotely with people you know. Sites such as Twitter allow you to find people with common interests and communicate openly on a public forum. LinkedIn was developed as a way of communicating and sharing thoughts, ideas and information with other businesses.

There is one thing that all these sites have in common, they allow you to post about what you are doing and feeling and allow you to see what others are doing. They are also quite addictive if you are a regular user. This has led to problems in the work place.

The argument for using social networks during working hours

Some companies are happy for their employees to use social networking sites during working hours. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Networking for business – many companies allow their employees to use social media sites as a way of networking for business. They actively encourage their staff to find other businesses in their sector and see what they are ‘tweeting’ about or doing on the social media scene.
  • Research – social networking sites are a great place to undertake research. Twitter for example will give you a list of the latest trends and hash-tags being used which allows companies to keep their fingers on the pulse.
  • Engage with customers – social networking can also be encouraged as a way of engaging with the target market and identifying potential customers.
  • Content staff – some companies allow their staff to use social networking sites during office hours as a way of keeping them content. Content staff tend to be more loyal and in the long run more hard working for the company.
  • As a communication tool – traditional communication channels such as phone calls and faxes are not as common in today’s business world as they once were. People now prefer to communicate via email and instant messaging sites, many of which are built into social networking sites.

The argument against using social networks during working hours

However there are a number of companies who have completely banned their employees from using social networking sites during working hours. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Loss of work time – during working hours, most employers expect their staff to be working. The use of social networking sites means that valuable working hours are ‘lost’ every year whilst staff are posting photos and status updates on sites.
  • Inappropriate use – some companies think that by an employee posting during working hours, it reflects badly on them as a company. Although this generally relates to the type of content being posted. There have also been reported issues in the US of employees being bullied over social networking sites.
  • Confidentiality issues – some companies are concerned about employees leaking confidential information over social networking sites which directly benefit their competitors.

What Does Your Contact Say?

If you are unsure of the policy on social networking in your workplace, it’s recommended to check your contract. Most employment contracts will contain information about personal use of the internet and use of social networking sites from your own device during office hours. If you are unsure of the policy in your workplace, it is best to ask the recruitment department before embarking on any social networking.

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  1. Nishant Srivastava

    I think its important but over using social networks may be dangerous, because i saw many people who spend more time on Facebook and less on work.
    Nishant Srivastava recently posted..Things which can distract you from BloggingMy Profile

  2. Deo Guru Chaturvedi

    First i want to say thank you Jay for this post
    Yeah you are right that many people waste time on social network but i think
    If we can waste our time with our colleague then i don’t think that there is a problem with social network friends ?
    and most important we know each other via social network
    so Its Good for me
    We waste our time because we want, Social Network is not responsible for that
    Deo Guru Chaturvedi recently posted..Five SEO tips to rank higher in search enginesMy Profile

  3. Raj

    rather than following and going through this stuff it is better and highly recommended to avoid usage of social networking platforms while you are at your work place..
    Raj recently posted..Hello World!My Profile

  4. Umer Rock

    Awesome Guidance About social thank you 🙂
    Umer Rock recently posted..Tweet Deleter for Iphone / Ipad Delete all Tweets at OnceMy Profile

  5. Muhammad Umer

    Its improve my work thank you for share this

  6. RaviSingh

    Hello jay,
    A social networking site can be a good way to make connections with people with similar interests and goals and users to share information, exchange opinions and communicate with other users.
    Each term contain the Dangers and Benefits.
    We should fixed the time to use the social networking time. I believe that there are not allow social network sites on working time because it remove the concentration at the work.
    Thanks for sharing this article.

  7. Shitij

    Hi Jay
    Social media though has revolutionized the world but at the same time we have become addicted to it….this habit is not good as I have seen many people wishing GM as early as 5 in the morning…

    Shitij recently posted..Prepare For Abroad Entrance Exams – Study Abroad PlanningMy Profile

  8. Nizam

    Well yes, social networking is really a great way to identify potential customers and to target market, but also while being on social networks at work time, can be a loss of work time, as the work process will be slow down. But, if there is need to use social networks at work time, it has to be used effectively, concerning about the work time. Thanks Jay for interesting post 🙂
    Nizam recently posted..Review Of Toshiba Excite Tablet- Is 13 Inch The Future Of Tablets?My Profile

  9. firdosh joy

    These are really very helpful advises but i personally do not use any social media while working. Anyways thanks to Jay for sharing this information
    firdosh joy recently posted..Samsung Galaxy Note 800 – Student Friendly Tablet with full features & specificationMy Profile

  10. raybak

    I think its morally wrong to spend your worktime on social networking sites specially when it effects your performance. I am glad & lucky that my job involves spending time on social networking site 😀

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