Creating healthy social media habits in the workplace

Creating healthy social media habits in the workplace

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Social media is no longer a novelty and we can often find ourselves torn between many different social platforms in our quest to share content. According to recent statistics, the average Brit checks their phone 28 times a day – that’s about once an hour. And when you add it up that’s over 10,000 times a year – staggering figures don’t you think?

In our private lives, many of us would struggle to live without our phones and the constant connection to the world via social media, as it provides us with an immediate source of entertainment – I have to admit, I’m a culprit of walking and texting, nearly into lamp posts and people on many occasions. However, when it comes to our work lives, there is a fine line between it having a more positive or negative impact.

It’s a common expectation that businesses should have a social media presence; it’s often as important as a website, and allows them to connect with their audience, enhance their brand and bring attention to their products or services. In addition to using social media as part of a business plan, it’s as, if not more, important to understand and monitor how employees use social media in the workplace.

Employees spending too much time checking their phones or social accounts can have a unfavourable effect on productivity. A recent study found that 11 per cent of employees spent more than an hour on social media every day at work, not including their lunchbreak. However, it can also be used in reverse to help boost morale. For example, by allowing employees to take short breaks throughout the day to check their social, rather than going outside, they can take a quick mental hiatus from work, whilst still sat at their desks, therefore boosting productivity.

A stronger workforce leads to more cohesive and productive teams and, by using social media, co-workers can interact with one another and build better relationships, encouraging communication as well as increasing engagement both at home and work. Having a genuine relationship with colleagues can not only strengthen work dynamics, but also enhance the longevity of their time at the company. This is true of us at Peppermint; we are all genuinely interested in each other’s lives and social events have helped create a strong bond between us.

Freedom of speech is also important. Employees should be free to voice their opinions and be encouraged to participate in conversations on social media, but in the right way. If employees get frustrated or stressed about a situation that has arisen at work or in their personal life, they may take to their personal social media and vent their views (over sharing comes to my mind). This is a cause for concern and could negatively impact on your company’s reputation, especially if clients/customers see the inappropriate and improper content that has been posted. I’m sure you’ve seen a few news stories recently where people have been fired from their jobs for the misuse of social media on their personal accounts – they say, think before you speak, so you’d presume people would think before they post, right?

As an integrated marketing agency, we use social media on a daily basis; therefore, we understand the importance of using social to our advantage at work and for our clients, but also being cautious that we don’t overstep boundaries when using it for our personal use.

Drop us a line at [email protected] to find out how we can support your social media strategy.