Why You Shouldn’t Restrict Social Media in the Workplace

We all know that social media is essential for companies when it comes to branding, information sharing, feedback and more.  Then why are 43% of companies blocking social media in the workplace? Limiting access — whether personal or work related — is counterproductive and I will tell you why your social media policies need to take a chill pill.

Staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest in your field is crucial and social media is the fastest way to obtain information.  How did you find out about Osama Bin Laden’s downfall?  My guess is Twitter (there were over 5,000 tweets per second) or Facebook.  Now, your business sector may not have that kind of viral potential, but you have the ability to stay current with your industry’s news and keep tabs on what your competitors are doing.  Why not take advantage of the opportunity for more knowledge?

Workplace attitude is more likely to stay in your favor if employees feel like they are valued and trusted.  If someone wants to post a link to Reddit, take a few minutes to expand their network on LinkedIn, or check in on Four Square, let them.  Remember when your mom told you specifically not to do something?  Did you listen to her or test the boundaries?  If you give a little, you will gain a lot.  Don’t forget, there will always be few that will try and take advantage.  Stay vigilant and monitor use to prevent misconduct.

Smartphones are everywhere.  If you block Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and other social networking sites on your network, chances are that your employees are going to jump right on their smartphones and use them anyway.  Now you have no way of monitoring their usage or what sites they are accessing.  All of the sudden, your ban is seemingly pointless, isn’t it?

People want to work for companies that give them respect.  You are securing their esteem while your company is being (hopefully) well represented in the social media world.  If you aren’t using social media for your company, you need to start taking advantage of this communication channel ASAP; your employees are more than ready to help.