Last week, more or less every Danish media told the story that more than one out of three Danish companies ban the use of social media like Facebook during work hours. The stories were based on a survey from the Danish organisation for directors, ”Lederne”.
There are plenty of reasons to restrict or maybe even ban the use of social media during work hours. But there are also many positive things to be said about the use of social media. Maybe your company doesn´t see the advantages of allowing the use of social media today, but they ought to consider the consequences of banning social media today.
Social media is more important than salary
If a company ban the use of social media during work hours many young people consider it unattractive to work there. According to an international survey from 2011, more than 50 percent of people between the age of 18 and 30 don´t want to work for a company that ban the use of social media like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. The survey is made for the IT-company Cisco and included 2800 people from 14 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
The survey also shows that 42 percent of the respondents prefer things like access to social media and the opportunity of choosing which technological tools to use at work instead of higher salary without those opportunities. This provides food for thought, when it comes to recruitment problems on the long term, says Niels Münster-Hansen Chief Director at Cisco Denmark.
Guidelines are better than control
The new survey from ”Lederne” shows that only 33 percent of companies have created ethical guidelines for the employees’ use of social media during work hours. If transparent guidelines are presented for employees, they know what is allowed and what is not allowed, and companies probably can cut down on control, says management consultant Helle Bruun Madsen From Lederne.
If you need inspiration for guidelines for the use of social media in your company check out this link:
Here you will find good advices and you also find a link to a report from SocialMediaGovernance.com presenting 113 different sets of guidelines from public and private companies from around the world. Guidelines on how to control employees’ use of social media and guidelines on how to invite employees to use social media in a constructive way to make contacts, public relations etc. Read for example the guidelines from Coca Cola, Daimler Benz or Razorfish if you want an constructive way of inviting your employees to use social media in a constructive way.
Employees help each other
One example of social media used as a working tool is Region Midt’s electronic patient records.
10.000 employees at the hospitals in Region Midt are connected to a wiki where they help eachother using the new electronic patient records. It is similar to wikipedia, which means that every employee can write new information in the wiki – instead of for example having a central support team doing the job.
So bottom line: Nothing is black or white when it comes to the use of social media during work hours. When you consider the dangers and risks compare them to the bonuses, and maybe you’ll find some gold.