Essay Sample. Employees' Social Media Use: Problem at Workplace

Published: 2023-01-05
Essay Sample. Employees' Social Media Use: Problem at Workplace
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Social media Organizational culture Conflict management Policy analysis
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1823 words
16 min read

Technology today has drastically changed the channels of communication, particularly, how most people get informed and even how people undertake their business activities. The traditional social networks in recent times have expanded significantly from a few dozen acquaintances into a group of friends, friends of their friends to connections and followers. Social media comes out as a double-edged sword that serves as a promotional tool for free for a company, with the ability to share positive news and work-related photos; however, it introduces a myriad of issues in the workplace that seek to be urgently addressed because of their overall impact to the organization. Workplace environments such as organizations and businesses should assess the potential negative impacts that social media has before going ahead to place their employees in front of unlimited access to internet computer gadgets. Recent trends in workplaces have characterized the blocking of access to social media. The wide array of fears emanate from uncertainty with regards to the time spent on social media platforms. The productivity or time lost is not recoverable; hence, the recent restrictive trends illustrate the deeper problem to the employee's output. Social media use presents major issues, particularly, when it concerns the aspect of message control and staff productivity. The top social media usage issues include harassment and bullying tendencies by employees on social media account of their employees or employers. Damage to an employer's reputation or business to the public is alarming. Another issue is social media use during the work period that affects productivity. Many solutions have been suggested by different players aimed at regulating the work environment for employees using social media during work times. The social media regulatory policy intervention stands out as the best solution for any workplace to introduce to manage social media use as it has both demerits and merits. Other possible solutions are the building of company advocacy and training of employees. Furthermore, other solutions such as banning access entirely do not take into account the advantages of a well-utilized social media platform. Basically, a social media policy represents the most comprehensive tool to handle the problems as it offers guidelines to employees from the induction stage and enables a business to reduce risks, lost time as well as the legal exposure.

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The root cause of the social media problem is the contact time that social media today takes away from people. In a workplace the more an employee is in contact with social media the more they are likely to be influenced towards a particular idea. Employees who spend much of their time on social media will also see their productivity decline as they will spend fewer hours carrying out their duties. The contact time that employees have on social media may be as a result of addiction; therefore, they will end up spending most of their time in the online platforms rather than discharging their duties as provided for in the employment agreement (Bizzi, 2018). Social media today to almost all individuals in the society is a powerful communication mechanism with about 82% of workers holding that it helps to improve the work relationships and another 60% highlighting that it helps to support the decision-making processes (Bizzi, 2018). Therefore, social media has its merits; however, the point of divergence is the influence that it has in the discharge of duties and the amount of time that it manages to take away from employees to the extent of affecting an organization's or businesses' productivity. The employers are worried about the impact it has, particularly, with the aspect of it being a productivity killer arising on several occasions with not less than a half of employers in the US reportedly blocking at work access to social media (Awolusi, 2012). Social media unlike other addictive activities is integral to people's work goals and cannot be wished away; however, the addictive nature as highlighted earlier continues to have negative impacts to the workplace with the time spent online affecting the work environment in many ways.

The possible solutions to the social media problem, include, blocking social media, the building of company advocacy, training employees and managing employees' performances. Blocking access to social media is easier said than done because employees can go ahead and have access through their phones or any other enabled gadget (Weigel, 2013). The solution's limitation is that it is not proactive and does not emphasize the proper understanding of how social media works. The building of company advocacy highlights that the restrictions on social media use should integrate the employees and they ought to be at the center of it. The solution will involve outlining guidelines on what the employees cannot do in their social media usage. The company advocacy's solution limitation is that it should not solely focus on poor judgment ramifications and just informing the employees on what they can or cannot engage in at work as they use social media (Bennett, Owers, Pitt & Tucker, 2010). Training employees on the policy that govern social media is another critical solution that an organization can employ together with the consequences of lack of adherence to the regulations (Brice, Fifer & Naron, 2012). The policy's limitation is the assumption that after the training session the new or already in place employees will adhere to the guidelines. The management of employee's performances solution involves structured performance management techniques that will ensure they have job descriptions, employee goals, and even clear expectations. The limitation is the assumption that workers will prudently utilize their time and will not be affected by social media. The solutions are not wholesome in responding to the problem as compared to the policy-driven solution that governs the use; hence, they are not fully effective.

Social media in present times continues to be used rapidly, and it records an increase every year in every circle of life from work to even personal life; therefore, the introduction of a social media regulatory framework, guidelines or policy is critical. Policies that guide social media use offer an efficient strategy for an organization or business, and this sets up the foundation for a solution that is long-lasting for a workplace setting. The solution through a policy form works well even in predicting the expected future outcomes (Herlle & Astray-Caneda, 2013). A framework to regulate social media will provide a lasting solution to the problem of workplace social media use, particularly, the contact time.

The solution is effective as it highlights what is not acceptable and what is acceptable together with the consequences in the workplace. The policy should bring out to employees the tolerable behaviors and those that are not, for instance, during breaks all employees are free to use social media (Guerin, 2017). The guidelines in the policy will highlight what the employees cannot put out there through their handles, for instance, the disparaging information and the one that can disrepute and organization. The guideline will also highlight that harassment and bullying elements are not tolerable in the workplace. The policy will indicate the contact time and the extent to which the workers can use social media together with the consequences that serve as a deterrent. The policy offers critical guidelines to manage social media use.

The second reason why a policy to manage social media is effective is it brings out a safe space, reflects on the company's culture and outlines the goals. The policy will put forth the consequences that are associated with a breach; hence, the employees will use social media or even avoid its use as per the spelled out terms. The safe space also comes out from the employee's ability to relay their grievances to top managers as provided for under the policy, for instance, the policy may allow employees to discuss the working conditions (Harrison, 2016). The policy will also reflect upon the company's culture to remain careful in social media management; therefore, it will be more effective as it will capture the aspirations. Also, the outlining of goals the policy seeks to achieve makes the policy the most suitable as the objectives will be clear to all the parties involved in a company setting. The policy looks into significant aspects from safety, culture, and contact time to the goals; therefore, it is the most effective.

The challenges to a social media policy include the compliance to the labor laws, educating employees on the policy and update of the conduct as per the document. According to Aguenza, Al-Kassem & Som (2012) a company in California might have to comply with the National Labor Relations law that protect workers' rights to communication on matters pertaining to their employment and California law that forbids an employer or business owner from coming up with employment decisions that are based conduct outside of an office (Dudley & Johnson, 2017). To overcome the challenge the employer should come up with a policy in consultation with employees and should adhere strictly to the constitution and labor laws. Educating employees poses a challenge in the policy as some of them are unwilling to submit themselves to the policy guidelines (Brooks, 2015). To address the challenges, the policy should be drafted under consultative meeting that ensures it does not infringe on the workers' rights. The other challenge pertains to updating of conduct through the policy. The update of guidelines may not augur well with the employees; therefore, to overcome this challenge any update should involve a sit-down or participation of workers. Any good policy does not miss its fair share of demerits; however, they are surmountable.

In conclusion, a social media policy represents the most comprehensive tool to handle the problems as it offers guidelines to employees from the induction stage and enables a business to reduce risks, lost time as well as the legal exposure. The policy is part of the workplace regulations; hence, just like any other guidelines helps to bring sanity to the workplace environment. The policy aspect is wholesome and covers the different aspects of social media use; therefore, it provides a lasting solution given that it can be improved or changed when required. A policy to govern social media stands out as the formidable solution for any company to pick up; therefore, they should embrace the strategy and put it into place.


Aguenza, B., Al-Kassem, A. H., & Som, A. M. (2012). Social media and productivity in the workplace: Challenges and constraints. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business, 2(2), 22-26.

Awolusi, F. (2012). The Impacts of Social Networking Sites on Workplace Productivity. Journal of Technology, Management & Applied Engineering, 28(1).

Bennett, J., Owers, M., Pitt, M., & Tucker, M. (2010). Workplace impact of social networking. Property Management, 28(3), 138-148.

Bizzi, L. (2018). Employees Who Use Social Media for Work Are More Engaged - but Also More Likely to Leave Their Jobs. Retrieved from

Brice, R., Fifer, S., & Naron, G. (2012). Social media in the workplace: The NLRB speaks. Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, 24(10), 13.

Brooks, S. (2015). Does personal social media usage affect efficiency and well-being?. Computers in Human Behavior, 46, 26-37.

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