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How to Manage Social Networking in the Workplace

Manage Social Networking in the Workplace

In recent years, social networking has continued to advance by leaps and bounds. It has indeed become an integral part of most people’s lives. The craze of various social networking sites can be measured by the increasing numbers of users who regularly subscribe to sites such as: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on.

Modern life and the many technical advances we now consider commonplace also makes it easier than ever before to stay connected while on the go and at work. Most individuals make their own decisions regarding their social networking use, but what about companies when it comes to their employees using social networking sites while on the clock and in the workplace?

As they say, “Every coin has two sides” the same can also be said about the advantages and disadvantages of social networking in the workplace.

Some Of The Pros And Cons Of Social Networking

Advantages

  • Humans are emotional and social creatures, when we are happy our actions reflect our moods. For business, this could act as great PR and increase a company’s online presence and popularity.
  • Companies can easily keep track of online social network posts and progress made by employees to see their effect on the company’s image.
  • Regular chatting can be great for enhancing the internal bonding amongst employees, colleagues and friends. It can also help in creating an environment that is conductive to teamwork and increased productivity.
  • Social networking sites are one of the largest new ways to showcase a company and their services or products to ever increasing amounts of people.

While social networking can definitely have a positive impact on a business’s social image, it could also have some very devastating effects if it is not used and regulated properly.

Disadvantages

  • The easy accessibility of social networks via computers, phones, tablets and so on can be a major source of distraction for many employees and lead to serious reductions in productivity.
  • Rude, unwelcome and negative comments made by a company’s employees can really generate a negative image for the company and their brand.
  • In the worst case scenario, an employee’s social networking actions could actually have long-lasting and devastating effects on the company’s brand and image.

How Can A Company Manage Social Networks In The Workplace?

As technology and the world continue to evolve, so businesses must also evolve to meet the new challenges that arise. Many companies have now begun to adopt policies which address the issues of social networking and the workplace. These policies are now beginning to become commonplace and are considered as an everyday aspect of management.

While each company will have to decide for themselves what social networking policies they feel would benefit their company the most, here are a few basic guidelines which may have a positive impact or reduce the possibility of negative PR with employees using social networks.

  • Allot specific times for social networking. For example, employees are free to participate in social networking during lunch or coffee breaks.
  • Encourage employees to take part and share in the company’s social networking activities.
  • Provide guidelines which determine appropriate and inappropriate behavior for a company’s social networking employees.
  • In the worst case scenario, a company may feel that social networking should be banned from the workplace entirely.

It has become increasingly apparent that social networking in the business world cannot be ignored or overlooked, and it should most definitely not come in the way of conducting smooth business transactions. In fact, many businesses have already shown that effective social networking policies can substantially improve a company’s social networking presence and image.

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