Pros and Cons of using Social Networks Sites at Work

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Note from the editor: Even today there are companies that are reluctant to the use of social networks sites by workers in their workplace. Sara Jurado explains why her use of these sites is not only counterproductive, but beneficial as well. At Zyncro, we believe that her arguments serve to help the use of social technology apply to the workplace and encourage businesses to take advantage of that social DNA that employees have acquired both at a personal level and in their business environment.  If your employees communicate on social networking sites on a private level, imagine what you can achieve if you implement Enterprise Social Networks in your organization so your employees can communicate the same way with their coworkers?

Social networking sites are not a fad. They came to stay and, although many consider them to be a waste of time, those who use them wisely only find these sites to work to their advantage.

1st objection: Job Performance

If online social networks are a communication tool, where is the fear in letting workers use them as needed? The lack of trust, some say. When the telephone arrived there were companies that were afraid of using them indiscriminately, but who really has a job that would pass the entire day glued to the phone?  I am among those who do not use phones unless there is no choice, because I think we lose a lot of words, and with them time, in a telephone conversation.

Moved by making the most of his productivity, Luis Suárez, an IBM worker decided in 2008 to work without email and barely used it since then, basing his communication with internal and external social networking sites. In fact, a study from Melbourne University indicates that employees who have access to social networking sites are actually more productive than those workers in companies that prohibit them. 

2nd Objection: Tarnish the name of the company

With the objective to preserve the good reputation of the digital brand, some companies apply internal codes of conduct to regulate content published by its employees about the brand on the internet. In this sense it prevents “dirty laundry” from posing a social media crisis for the company, as in the case of the worker who announced that she was quitting her job via a video, which was then answered by another video from the company she was leaving.

Conclusion

Blocking access to online networking sites in the workplace will not prevent workers from using them during their work schedule, in fact it can be counterproductive. This fact becomes more relevant if we take into account that Spain is the first country to infiltrate smartphones on a European level, as most employees can browse from work today. Additionally, if we consider that the future of work is connectivity, as  many experts point out, let’s begin to get used to employees having good habits on social media, which will make us all much more competitive. 

 Sara Jurado (@sarajuradoBCN) is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as counselor in the professional development team at Barcelona Activa.