Social Media; Our Generation’s Smoke Break
I was giving a presentation to group the other day and we were talking about social media. I asked if any of them accessed social media during their work day. Not surprising over three quarters answered yes. I know managers and business owners are shaking their heads wonder how many people are doing it at their organization. Here is what I will say to them, relax it’s our generation’s smoke break. Ask yourself this; do you get upset if a worker takes a few minutes to read the sports section in the break room? Do you get mad when someone takes a smoke break outside? The reality is most office workers who live in offices and cubicles will take a few minutes to get away from their tasks to clear the heads, I do. (I don’t want to hear from the people who can sit at a computer for 8 hours and not leave because it is not natural and you are the extreme) Social media is a way to stay connected to friends and family and that is why it has taken off and grown as fast as it has. Since over 75% of the workers are accessing their social sites why not figure out how to use it to your advantage.
Managers and business owners I suggest you embrace the social media break for your employees. You can fight it and I have heard where IT departments block sites. Guess what; even in those situations people are still accessing their Facebook pages via their Smart phones. Is the next step to collect cell phones at the door? No and since the majority of workers are at small businesses which do not have an IT department why not use this to your advantage. Find people in your organization that you trust to represent your business and have them monitor your social sites. I see the heads shaking “No” again. Ultimately it comes down to do you want to have a social media presence. If not then set a policy at your company to ban social media. For those willing to get their employees involved you will find that it gives a sense of ownership. Don’t we want that in all of our employees?
This BLOG post is meant for employees who are productive and get their jobs done. There will always be those workers who will take advantage, just like the ones who take to many smoke breaks. If an employee isn’t productive you have more problems than social media. I do suggest you set a Social Media Policy so everyone is clear on when, how and where it can be accessed. Here is a Google search with the keywords “social media workplace policy”, a lot of great links and ideas;
This is Tim Coles and you have had your Technology sermon. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.