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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Social Media And Relationships Series Part 2: Social Media And The Workplace

Original posting:

This is part 2 in a 3 part series on the evolution of relationships because of social media. You can read part 1 here.

Since the rise of Facebook, Twitter and Linked.In, Social Media channels have changed our lives and forever altered the way in which we are choosing to interact with people entirely– the game has changed and so have the rules.

It’s Official: You have”Liked” your new company on facebook. You’ve added them to your “work” on your profiles. You’re in. As you begin to mingle with your co-workers, you swap stories and favorite past times. Then one day, over your morning coffee and granola, you see you have a notification and then it happens – you get that first friend request from your co-worker. What do you do? Do you accept? Should you friend your boss and your co-workers? How do you handle these new found business relationships in the social sphere?

Friending your Co-workers and Boss

Well- first things first– what is the age rating of your Profile? If it’s PG-13-esque, I would leave it in the queue until you decide to one of two things:

  1. Clean that bad boy up

  2. Keep on keepin’ on with the MySpace mirror shots and drinking pics!

Either way, if you have photos of you drinking and partying and you’re cool enough with the coworker who is friending, go-ahead, but proceed with caution. You never know when a status update, picture, group, or anything can get you into trouble. Know and understand your company’s stance on social media so that you aren’t breaking any rules. Essentially- be smart- if it doesn’t feel right, look right, or sound right– it probably isn’t right.

As for friending your Boss– unless it’s a really normal (aka cool) boss, then do NOT under any circumstances friend your boss. You don’t want anything you say or do to become grounds for termination, (or anything you may have done, for that matter– i.e. that Euro trip album you have still have up on your Facebook).

Utilizing [Personal] Social Media and Devices At Work

Worst case scenario: You show up at your first day of work, only to find out that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, are BLOCKED by your new employer. Who does that? How important is the ability to access social media channels during work hours?

If you’re a business owner, HR manager, or internet lurker, you’re on social media– and all of your employees, co-workers, and even your boss are as well. Is access to social media channels during work hours necessary to keep employees happy? An infographic from a CISCO study is suggesting that it can be utilized as a tool or even currency, and reports that 68% of employees state they should be able to utilize work and mobile devices for social media and personal usage. Additionally, that 56% of potential employees will NOT accept a job because social media and personal phone usage is prohibited in the workplace. Lastly, ⅓ of workers use at least 3 devices during working hours!

In the defense of the employee- the integration of technology into the workplace encourages browsing and social interaction. With limits during work hours, access to social media is necessary but needs to be regulated so that it’s not a constant Facebook stalking extravaganza. It’s good for mental sanity and if you work in any type of marketing, customer service, or business development, you should be utilizing it anyway.

Key Take Away

It is astounding that the plugged-in Generation Y, values salary and device freedom nearly equal to one another. Staying connected while at work has become more important than ever in both personal and business development, it seems. As for Social Media and the Work Place: Proceed with Caution.

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