Social media is no longer a new technology and has become both a useful tool in the workplace and a challenge for employers to manage. Individuals can use social media to further their careers by creating an online presence and networking themselves to find jobs or meet others in their field. However, these people must remain vigilant about maintaining their profiles and cognizant about their privacy settings. Companies can connect with their customers and provide tools for employee collaboration. Yet, employers face challenges like hacking and a possible productivity paradox.
In combination with the research that was performed and the survey data & analysis that was conducted within our own research, a few things have been made evidently clear.
First, the reality of social media in the workplace is clear and the much needed responses of employers to protect themselves while also being aware of their limitations in dealing with employees can only be accomplished through the development of a quality social media policy.
Second, while there seems to be a question of a social media productivity paradox, there are strong arguments against such a decline in productivity as a result of social media. In the survey research that was conducted most people admitted that they spent 15 minutes or less per day using social media while at the workplace but most claimed that social media, when allowed, was a large culprit of productivity. These answers simply don't add up. One might questions whether or not it's simply matter of people assuming others are misusing social media sites during work time, when in reality everyone is using the sites in a similar way.
The last and most important conclusion that can be drawn from this research is that employees are simply not educated enough about social media policies, their rights and the rights of their employers. Many respondents of our survey didn't know for sure if their company had a social media policy and if there was one didn't feel that it was extremely clear. Employers can prevent confusion in this area by not just writing a policy but by following up the written policy with a workshop to educate employees on what to do and what not do.