Social Media in the Workplace – Yes or No?

I’ve been pondering this dilemma a great deal lately. So many questions have run through my head!

Is it acceptable for an employee to take a quick cruise by Facebook to check what’s happening in their world a few times a day?

I think in most cases it is. If you work at a computer all day long, it is near impossible to stay 100% focused for 8 straight hours. Our minds need a quick break or escape from the task at hand. Studies have even shown that cute animal pictures can reduce stress during the day. So a quick peek at Instagram could actually be beneficial.

But when does social media become more of an addiction?

It is so easy to get sucked into the time waste of the social media vortex. Catchy headlines and enticing teasers tempt every bit of our will power to click on the link to see the picture or find out the answer to the question. After all, whose day would not be complete without knowing every gory detail of Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj’s recent Twitter battle? And of course, since we just read the latest article we must now click on every other related article to be sure we haven’t missed a single detail. Or once we’ve had that first bite, it’s nearly impossible to not want the second.

So how do I know if my employees are spending too much work time on social media?

The most obvious is to check the history on an employee’s computer. Some individuals may consider this an invasion of privacy, but it is not! Any employee using your computer during a paid work period has no privilege of privacy to their browsing history.

So what do I do if my employee’s social media browsing is no longer a short break  from reality, but an all-out time drain leading to productivity decline?

This is definitely a tough question to answer. And I can make the answer clear as mud, by saying I think ‘it depends on the circumstances.’ If an employee’s work is stellar and they seem to be distracted under an unusual situation, I would give the benefit of the doubt by providing counsel on how to curb the problem. Asking the employee for their ideas on how to correct the problem is the best way to create ownership of the situation. However, if an employee’s foray
into social media is another problem in a long list, then swift and immediate action is required. Since one of the services provided by Nu expression is social media management, monitoring personal use is nearly impossible. I will always give my employees the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the right thing unless productivity suffers. The bottom line for me is that if I can’t trust my employees to be responsible with their work hours, then I can’t trust them with other aspects of my business either.

Tips to Help Stay Focused

-Keep track of your tasks for the day by creating a daily task-list
-Make a top 3 To-Do list everyday
-Try a Google Add-on like “Stay Focused”
-Do the Task that you least  like doing first thing everyday, then the rest of the day just gets easier – Eat that Frog!