Social Media Monitoring In The Workplace – Should Employers Restrict Social Media Sites?

Social media has permeated every workplace. At any time in the office hours, you can find employees busy updating their Facebook status, following tweets or networking with others in LinkedIn. A 2012 survey report by Silk Road Technology shows that 75 percent of employees use social media for personal reasons daily on the job, with 60 percent doing it several times per day.

The question that arises in the minds of all employers is how much does it cost the employer when the employee uses personal social media at the workplace? As per a survey conducted by Salary.com on how much time employees waste at work, 64% of surveyed employees stated spending up to an hour every day “surfing the internet” or accessing social media.

More than half of U.S. workplaces block access to social media sites; some though permit it strictly for business needs.

The employers understand that there are various benefits of social media. Today, social media is being seen as one of the best customer service and marketing tools as it allows companies to directly interact with customers. Social media marketing is quite inexpensive and increases brand awareness.

Using social media in workplaces

Yet in spite of this popularity, establishments find it hard to keep a balance and end up monitoring the employees on the use of social media at workplaces. The employers find it more and more difficult to balance the opposing interests of an employee’s privacy contrary to the employer’s security. And the fact remains that even if an employer decides to restrict the social media sites it is a daunting task as communications are instant and most of these sites are often hosted on external servers that are not controlled by the companies.

A current report by Gartner recommends that, by 2016, as much as 60% of employers are projected to watch workers’ social media usage for security concerns.  We have to accept the fact is that Social media is here to stay, and establishments and the law alike are trying to catch up.

By KJ Mason, G+ profile.

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