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5 Reasons Not to Ban Social Media in the Workplace

May 24, 2011

It is amazing how many organisations are refusing to deal with social media by simply banning it in the work place. It’s as if they think that by ignoring this evolution in our communication tools, it will simply go away. Wrong!

Here are five reasons (out of many to choose from) I can think of not to ban social media at work:

  1. Social media is simply an evolution in our means of communication. Think banning telephones or mobile phones. Or email. No, we would never ban these methods of communication and that is the way we will think of social media in the near future. Can you remember the fear when email came in?
  2. Too many employees now have smart phones anyway. Yes, you are physically able to block access to social media sites on work computers but how about those employees tapping away on their smart phones?
  3. If you embrace social media at work, and train your staff on using it appropriately, you are actually reducing the risk of social media being a cause of risk to your organisation. eg If employees understand the public nature of social media and the implications for their online profiles they will be less likely to post potentially damaging content.
  4. There are compellling statistics from some research done by David Meerman Scott in the USA to show that listed companies embracing social media increase their market value measurably (against those organisations that do not embrace social media). This probably has to do with a whole approach that is innovative throughout the organisation. Read the full report in David’s ebook – Real-Time: How Marketing & PR at Speed Drives Measurable Success
  5. Younger employees have an expectation that social media will be available to them at work. Are you going to dismiss a whole generation of new talent simply because you do not want to face the social media revolution?

Introducing the use of social media at work is not as daunting as it may sound. Many exisitinng work place policies are relevant to social media (discrimination, bullying etc). You simply need to think about how social media applies in your organisation and create a policy (please use the help of a social media friendly law firm) and some guidelines from which you can train your staff.

One Comment
  1. How about when you give your employee a task to complete, but they don’t complete it in satisfactory because they’re to busy screwing around on Facebook talking to their friends, reading updates, looking at pictures etc..

    Your article could be correct if they’re using social media to communicate in the office or to promote the company by updating the companies page but this isn’t the case. It is very distracting and impacts hugely on their performance when.

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