Why Banning Your Staff From Social Media at Work is Ridiculous


Charles EbertHR Consultant

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Studies show that by limiting your employees' activity, you make them feel dissatisfied and as a result you could lose talent. Read how banning your staff from Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus really affects productivity.

Article 7 Minutes
Why Banning Your Staff From Social Media at Work i

A surprising 39% of employees insist that their productivity increases significantly if they have access to social media.

  • So why do so many employers ban their staff from visiting Facebook or Instagram?
  • How does that really affect the results of the company?
  • Can banning employees from social media ruin the positive atmosphere of the team and lead to the unpredictable consequences?

These are the questions that will be covered in this article, as well as what that you need to know about social media and its influence on employees’ performance.

Social media as a responsibility

It goes without saying that online promotion, as well as running a business online, is beneficial to any company that wants keep up to date. By banning social media, you automatically lose a huge number of opportunities for business development.

Even though you are currently just thinking about the opportunity to use social media as a marketing challenge, you should never forget that your team needs to have access to these platforms. They need to investigate your audience, conduct research to determine the strategy for further promotion, and generate some ideas by checking other communities and pages.

Looking for new prospects

Did you know that 95% of millennials search for brands on social media? This means that your employees won’t be able to reach these prospects if you ban them from using social networks. If you want to utilize online tools for your business, then make sure the employees who are responsible for online promotion have full and unlimited access to social media.

Besides, reaching your prospects individually is far more effective than just running a blog. You can send messages, discuss details and answer questions. You can also establish relations with other companies and invite them in order to create collaborations.

Providing customer support

Another important aspect that you need to consider before you ban social media is whether you provide customer support by using Facebook or Instagram. If yes, then it’s obvious that your employees require access to all social media channels, otherwise they won’t be able to answer messages and reply to comments.

Customers appreciate the possibility of contacting support teams through social media and direct messages. This is a much more personal approach, and the customer service itself becomes more humanized.

SMM management

Social media marketing (SMM) is perhaps one of the least time consuming ways to promote your brand. Facebook is no longer a time killer but a near-perfect platform for establishing an online presence and revealing new opportunities for your brand.

Moreover, it works perfectly in providing an analysis of the market and your competitors. If the company wants to develop a versatile strategy for running a business, it’s vital to use social networks. If you are planning to incorporate SMM in your marketing strategy, yet ban your employees from using social media, you’re likely to encounter some problems.

Social media for everyone: why it’s great

Many companies will argue that banning staff from social media at work primarily because it is damaging to your marketing strategy. However, it also affects the team itself. 30% of employees confessed that free access to social media makes them feel more satisfied with their job. Therefore, they are more likely to stay with your company.

Building trust

Banning your employees from using social media demonstrates a lack of trust. A responsible and dedicated employee always know what needs to be accomplished and will estimate the time required in order to meet objectives. A 10 minute break per hour is a reasonable expectation for that employee to have some rest and be distracted from the problems they are trying to solve.

If you think that employees are wasting time by browsing Facebook or Twitter, then you should check the results of their performance. If you are satisfied with them, then there are no problems with the overuse of social media in your company. However, if you notice that some of the employees spend too much time browsing social media and do not perform as well, then you should try to solve this problem on an individual level, whilst keeping in mind that banning them from social media will not necessarily mean a higher level of performance.

Balance in the workplace

People are more productive if they have more freedom and some free time to rest during the working day. This is about balancing work and rest. If you believe that preventing your employees from having rest in the workplace would affect the increase in productivity, you will definitely get disappointing results.

Unbalanced conditions lead to a situation where the employees procrastinate more and no longer want to work on their tasks. Moreover, it may result in people starting to leave your company.
It’s important to note that this level of balance is different for different types of employees. While some need 10 minutes per day to check their social media, others may spend longer on the social sites. However, the results of their work may still be the same.

In-team communication

It’s true that the modern generation of employees prefers to use social media for communication. If you ban them from using social media, it does not mean they will start to communicate in real life. In most cases, it causes the employees to stop communicating completely.
For any team, efficient communication is a must for successful work. If the team members prefer to discuss some work aspects using social media, allow them to do that. They will definitely appreciate this possibility, and the company will enjoy the growth.

Moreover, it helps to establish more friendly relations among the employees. Social media is often a personal territory, and if employees allow other people to join it, they are no longer just colleagues. Company culture and friendships within an organization can affect the overall results of the company, so feel free to encourage communication in social media.

Employee morale

When people get banned from something, they not only start to feel less protected but they no longer trust their bosses. They also start to lose their moral. They no longer feel happy at the work place and they start to lose passion. The engagement level also drops as well as their overall performance results.

The feeling of freedom associated with being trusted not to spend their time on social media will also enable employees to feel satisfied within their workplace and valued by the company.

Engagement in the company’s activity

Customers tend to trust companies that have active a social media life. In some cases, they even check the personal pages of team members just to get to know what’s really going on behind the scenes. If you want to build a trustworthy brand for your company, encourage your employees to use social networks.

It’s not all about Facebook and Instagram, it’s also about LinkedIn. This is a network which may be used for building awareness among clients, prospects, and potential employees. If you are planning to hire new employees, make sure that your current employees have developed an attractive image of your company online.

Do remember that potential employees will definitely want to know whether you prohibit your employees from using social media. For many, this is vital and you may lose a large amount of talent if they do discover you are against social media at work.

As you’ve noticed, there are a number benefits to allowing your staff to use social media and they can even turn networks into channels for attracting new customers and clients.  Preventing your team from using social media is more likely to cause issues within the teams and can have some drastic knock-on effects.

If you want to build an engaging atmosphere in your company, you need to remember the personal needs of your employees. If they want to have access to social media, then allow them to do just that, whilst still keeping track of personal performance. Facebook is not the problem for productivity, but the indicator that the person cannot cope with the job.

Charles Ebert

Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in the HR sector. Charles is a lead expert at Professional Resume Solutions. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook & Google+.


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