The debate over whether social media should be allowed in an office setting seems to be at a crossroads now. When you have business sites like Entrepreneur going after the notion that 19% of all employees are blocked from Facebook, you know something is going to have to give. But what will convince managers of business offices to allow their employees to take time on places like Twitter and Facebook during a work day?
Take a look at the reasons why they should and why it isn’t necessarily a dangerous addiction that wastes too much time.
Lack of Trust in Employees Brings Lack of Morale
While office rules have to be given on just how much time can be spent on social media during work hours, not providing it all is bringing a sense of mistrust. And when employees feel like the heads of the company don’t trust what they do, morale is going to suffer. After a while, it could mean employees start to leave for other jobs to avoid the dictatorial rules set forth.
Providing a time during breaks for employees to use Twitter or Facebook doesn’t hurt anyone. Because those accounts aren’t associated with the business anyway, the business doesn’t have to worry about what the employee ultimately posts.
Younger Employees Will Especially Be Affected
For those companies finally getting around to recognizing the value of hiring Generation Y in the workplace, their use of social media is as common as breathing oxygen. Taking it away from Gen Y is taking away something that’s been assimilated into their lives since their formation years.
If you want to foster new upstarts in your company for the future, it’s best to let them have social media to use during their break time. And considering that posting to Twitter or Facebook only takes mere seconds, there shouldn’t necessarily be a complete ban during regular work hours.
Using Social Media as a Communication Center
One way to consolidate social media into the workplace is to use Twitter for in-house communication among employees. It’s a good location to convene all in one place and tweet to one another about a project or other issue. Through Twitter’s private messaging service, tweets don’t have to go out on a public feed either. Consolidating like this also saves time having to convene live meetings. Employees manage to gain instant answers to questions relayed to another employee in a different department.
Are these all valid arguments for social media use in the office? Once more offices take these steps to the mainstream, other companies will probably follow suit. In the meantime, a social media stigma prevails that it’s nothing but a plaything when work and play have to work together in the truly great companies.