Facing the Facebook Facts: Employers Respond to Social Media Use at Work

Are you tweeting in your meetings? Do you complain online about your co-workers’ annoying quirks? If so, your employer probably doesn’t appreciate you sharing proprietary or negative information about their company with the world. But can they do anything about it? Yes, if they have a social media policy.


While employers adore social media for brand promotion and marketing, they don’t like it when an employee opens up a party popper of bad news about the company that can cover the world in seconds.

Employers Getting on Board

In a survey of employers, PayScale discovered that many companies, particularly at smaller ones, are crafting social media policies that provide guidelines for employee use of popular social networking and media sites like Twitter, Facebook. LinkedIn, YouTube and more. Fifty-seven percent of small companies surveyed have a social media policy, compared to 47 percent of large companies.

Depending on the industry they’re in, some employers actually promote employee use of social media. For example, 59 percent of companies in the media industry say they encourage the use of social media by employees. By contrast, 71 percent of mining, oil and gas industry employers prohibit any use of social media at work.

What Do Employees Think?

The pressure is on from the new arrivals to the workplace. The text-loving, every-thought-online-sharing, tweet-errific Gen Y-ers want to use social media during work hours. In fact, Cisco produced a report stating that 64 percent of college students would ask about social media usage in a job interview. It is that important to them.

And, mind you, falling in love with Facebook can happen at any age. According to a study from Citrix Online, 50 percent of workers over age 55 say they use social media at work every day.

To learn more about employers’ response to social media use, check out PayScale’s new infographic.

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