Social Media at work: Research reveals the gap between employer and employee perceptions
Virtually since its creation, the use of social media in the workplace has been a bone of contention between employers and employees. With social media now being so ubiquitous, leading digital marketing experts, Digimax, have discovered that 72% of SME owners/managers now have an active social media policy for their employees to abide by. Unfortunately, only a quarter (28%) of employees are happy with their employer’s stated policy.
With the average person now having 7.6 active social media accounts and spending nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) a day perusing them, it’s perhaps not surprising that employers are concerned about the impact social media might have on productivity. Although more than a third (36%) of employers say that they don’t allow personal use of social media during work hours, three quarters (74%) of workers say that they regularly check their accounts while at work.
18% of those say that their business hours social media use is work-related with some citing promoting a product or sharing news as their SM use whilst the overwhelming majority (82%) admit that it’s purely for personal entertainment.
Interestingly, eight out of ten (81%) employers believe that their staff’s online content can have a direct effect on their business brand, whether through inappropriate comments or behaviour not fitting for the line of work. Because of this, 33% of small business managers admit to regularly checking their employee’s social media content. Contrastingly, nine out of ten employees believe that this is intrusive behaviour from their bosses.
Shaz Memon, Digimax CEO and digital marketing expert, comments: ‘Social media has become such an integrated part of modern life that most people use it without even thinking. And that’s the difficulty for employers. If a prominent staff member says or does something they maybe shouldn’t on their social media pages, it does have the potential to have a negative impact on a business.
‘Employees using social media isn’t, in my view, necessarily a bad thing and can even be used to a businesses advantage, especially when it comes to spreading the word on new products or promotions. But as with everything I believe there has to be a balance and with SMEs enforcing their company policies it’s a great way to get transparency to ensure both parties are happy.’