Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reasons not to Ban Social Media in the Office

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are commonly blocked at offices. However, treating social media sites like business communication tools rather than time wasters could be beneficial. Should sites that let you advertise the features of your latest product, talk to potential employees, and build relationships with clients and vendors really continue to be blocked at your business? If your company is reluctant to unblock social media channels at work, you might consider the following:

Is social media really a time suck? Even if you block social sites, employees will still find a way to take breaks throughout the day, whether it is stopping by the kitchen or a having a short conversation with a coworker. But these breaks are a good thing. Numerous studies have shown taking breaks increases productivity in the workplace. Employees who are able to use their break times in a reasonable way will be happier.

Social media connects employee. They way people share information is changing. Social networks have surpassed email as the number one online activity. When used with a purpose, tools like twitter lists can help you to collect industry content and enable your workforce to be more connected within the industry.

Help brand advocates show their love. Social Media involvement shouldn’t be limited to a company’s Human Resources, Corporate Communications or Marketing Department. Employees can serve as great brand advocates, especially when allowed to log on during work hours while they are in a business mind mode.

If you are still hesitant, consider creating a well-defined social media policy. It will give you piece of mind that social media is being used to its full potential and give employees confidence that what they are talking about is approved and encouraged.

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