Do social media tools, channels and sites pose a threat to the quality of work produced in the workplace? Do we realize the actual negative outcomes of using social media within working hours? Is it morally unethical to spend a portion of the 8 to 9 daily working hours utilizing social media for personal use? Do you think social media use should be completely banned from the workplace?
Whether it be Facebook, Mixx, Reddit, Digg, Youtube, Twitter or any other social media channel of your preference, it is a fact that most of the tools, sites and channels, which flourished as a result of Web 2.0, are of a time-consuming nature. Naturally, if you are to waste your own private time working around those channels; sharing information, watching clips, meeting new people, chatting or listening to music, then it would be acceptable. But what about when your utilization of those channels gets out of your own room, home and free time and steps into your working hours?
The way I see it, and from personal experience, unless your job description dictates that you utilize social media for public relations, marketing, promotion, engagement and interaction with potential clients, social media could cause severe discrepancies between the quality of work you do and the quality of work that should be achieved!
Why would that happen?
Allow me to present you with the 5 top reasons why I am completely against the use social media within the workplace:
- Lack of Concentration/Focus: Regardless of how multifunctional or multitasking one thinks he/she is, it is a fact that the human brain works at its maximum potential during its default state i.e, its resting hours. The more the strain applied to the brain, the less its ability to make sound decisions. Therefore, and when we apply this to someone trying to juggle the daily tasks of a full-time job in addition to sneaking a few peaks into Facebook’s friends’ updates, tweeting some topics here and there or secretively watching a clip on Youtube, the result can not be anything but a lower overall performance level.
- Unethical Conduct: Whether you are a manager, a junior or a senior employee, whatever your responsibilities are, you have certain obligations and specific working hours which need to be fulfilled at your maximum potential. Ethically, you are getting paid for the numbers of hours agreed upon or previously dictated by the labor law. Therefore, it becomes a rather ethical dilemma when you use that time for personal entertainment and you still get paid for it!
- Jealousy: Let’s assume that you are a fast employee; you finish your daily duties within a more efficient time frame. Why not use this extra time left to utilize social media channels? Sadly, human beings are of a jealous nature and thus will be your fellow employees. This jealousy amongst employees might eventually lead to an unbalanced work environment later on and which in turn has the power to reduce collective outcome!
- Mistrust: Social media tools have been used for the “wrong” reasons at many levels and on many occasions. Utilizing social media tools within working hours could actually lead to a build up of a nonfunctional and doubtful relationship between the employee and the employer!
- Other Dangers: Given the large number of viruses, hackers, spam and trojans waiting anxiously to attack your PC or laptop, you must always be cautious of what sites you click, which clips you watch and what content you download. Social media, regretfully, helps the spread of those vicious attackers especially given the integrated networks used in offices. Your workstation should be treated with care and respect for security reasons as well.
After having read my analysis about this subject, do you agree that social media use should be banned from the workplace? Otherwise, how do you propose a better utilization of social media within working hours?