Social Media in the Workplace and Its Influence on Employee Productivity

Social media is the most common word everyone is aware of. People use different social media platforms to share their thoughts, photos, and videos to entertain and get entertained in their free time. People use social media during their free time to engage in social life. Besides their professional lives, people share their social lives with their colleagues, friends, and families. The best way to get connected with people across the globe where distance can be compensated. People are eager to check for the notifications now and then. They wake up, check their social media accounts for any activities they missed while sleeping, and check all social media activities even before going to sleep at night.

Employees check social media in the workplace for updates without knowing or knowing you. Social media has had a significant impact on their lives. Socializing is equally important, whether offline or online. In this digital world, people use their social media profiles to connect with those they haven’t met for a while, make new friends, and form a community of friends, families, relatives, and office colleagues. With advancements, social media allows you to do business on a large scale, where you can reach a humongous number of users worldwide. It is seen that marketing through social media can generate more leads for a company.

Social media and the workplace have great chemistry. Social media in the workplace or at work may have some positive and negative impacts. Studies have shown that almost every employee in a company uses social media for an average of one hour. Most people have observed social media during office meetings when they get bored listening to their bosses during long hours. If there are benefits, then there are drawbacks as well, as every coin has two sides.

Social media has changed our lives, for better or worse, since it first started gaining traction in the 2000s. It’s not far-fetched that it has completely changed how we live, interact, work, get our daily news, and share opinions. The age-old hierarchical, regional, and cultural boundaries have become almost non-existent after the advent of social media.

It’s a fact that social media has made our lives easier, but has it made any better? Many people are not so sure. Even though social media allows effortless communication, it comes with its downsides.

In this article, we’ll discuss social media in the workplace and its various effects on employee productivity. So, without any further ado, let’s jump into it.

Employee Productivity Stats

According to credible sources, 65 percent of employees report using the Internet for non-work purposes throughout the workday. Also, the average employee is interrupted from their work 56 times a day. Due to social media, the millennial generation is the least engaged in their work.

Social media in the workplace

An article, Social Media and the Workplace, by Pew Research Center says that “34% of people use social media while at work to take a mental break from their job, 27% of people use it to connect with friends and family while at work, 24% use it to make or support professional connections, 17% use it to build or strengthen personal relationships with coworkers, 17% of people use it to learn about someone they work with, 12% of people use it to ask work-related questions to people outside of their organization, and 12% of people use it to as such questions of people inside their organization”.

Social Media in the Workplace

Social media has both positive and negative effects on the workplace. However, its negative effects far outweigh its positive effects. Which of the following has the greatest influence on the impact of social media in the workplace?

Benefits of Social Media in the Workplace

Positive Effects of Social Media in the Workplace are as follows-

Positive effects of social media in the workplace

Increased Productivity

High productivity in one’s personality tends to give much better results in one’s work. Every employee wants to be motivated and encouraged for their work. Social media helps them manage multitasking convincingly. They need compliments for the amount of work they have done and get more motivated for their upcoming tasks or projects.

Work Ethics

Some people are unaware of what the word ‘work ethics’ means. Social media helps them become aware of the work ethics of a company, which is highly important to make your presence felt in a company else. Losing a job would be on the cards. Social media is essential in creating awareness among employees about work ethics. Most companies keep listing their working techniques on social media, accounting for over 30% of social media.

Mental Break

It’s easy for the workload to keep piling up until employees start feeling suffocated. They need a minute or two to relax and unwind. They can go through their social media feed and maybe watch some cute cat videos to help keep their minds off work.

Over long hours of getting stressed for completing their task, employers allow their employees to take breaks in between. Do not get embarrassed about taking mental breaks from work. Everyone suffers from this issue. Studies and surveys show this is the most important reason for using social media to overcome mental stress during work hours. It is better to use social media for the same reason rather than disturb other employees as they may not be interested in talking during their tasks. All employees do not suffer from mental stress at the same time.

Solve Work Problems

Many companies have set up branches in different parts of the country or even across the world. Social media is a great platform for connecting with employees, discussing work, and solving work-related issues. Maybe those employees have a better solution to the problem. Those people may tend to provide you with more information that you were not aware of, enhancing better functionality and resulting in better performance.

Global Connectivity

Social media makes it easier for employees to contact their friends and family in an emergency. It also allows them to share ideas and communicate when working on a project. Even if they are confined inside their cubicles, they are still connected to the outside world.

Enhance Communication

Employees may post on social media regarding their issues overwork, where they can be heard. Anyone who thinks their voice is not being heard in person may post their problems on social media. Getting a response from the employer enhances the smooth flow of communication, removing the communication gap between them. For management to be successful, communication plays a key role. Social media is one such solution for the employees.


While everyone uses social media depending upon their requirements, Brands try to attract new customers by engaging them through social media. Listening to people from the real world is equally important, especially regarding their views on a brand’s products. Just getting praise from employees doesn’t seem good, as they may fake their views to continue their work in a company. Social media is also a great platform to reach out to other people.

Personality Development

It seems a little bit awkward to know how one can develop one’s personality through social media. But, yes, social media may help in the personality development of employees. Employees get access to business models, statistics, more valuable information, debates, and the latest stories over social media. Dedicated employees may advance such activities on social media, which may help them flourish.

Morale Boost

Allowing employees to use social media during work hours may boost their morale and engagement. Getting connected to their friends and family during work hours whom they love the most will make them feel that they are being valued in the office. They will get a sigh of relief that you trust them over the work front. Happiness is the key to success, and if your employees are happy working in your company, it’s time to rejoice.

Monitor the Growth

Social media provides data regarding a company’s reachability to clients. Employees may analyze that data and know what is trending, which may help them improve a company’s business.


Allowing employees to use social media may improve their working techniques. Some may even provide innovative ideas about how to grow a company. A sense of entrepreneurship arises in them, which may benefit a company.

Awareness of Existence

Make your brand socially visible to reach out to most users, who may, in turn, become your clients or customers. Many companies suffer losses, and some may have to close their businesses due to a lack of clients. Make your presence known on social media using unique marketing techniques to make people aware of your business. Reaching out to targeted clients offline is very difficult. Social media may help you out, making your existence worldwide at ease.


Recruiting new talents may be tough when recruiting offline by advertising through print media. Social media platforms like Linked In are highly in demand for recruiting talented people worldwide whose existence you may not know otherwise. Most recruiters post their vacancies and provide complete details about the job, which seems easy. From experienced employees to new talents, LinkedIn has more than 300 million people registered searching for desired jobs across 200 countries. Such professional networking platforms get access to those talents globally just at the tip of a computer. The better the talent, the better for a company to grow. Many more social media websites are used for recruiting. Facebook is gaining popularity in recruiting by posting its advertisements in specific groups created for employment.

Customer Service

Make your presence on social media and engage more customers with your brand. The company has a sense of responsibility to connect with customers on social media. Listen to their queries and respond quickly to gain your brand’s trust. Better customer service leads to better brand growth. Gaining customers’ trust is the most important thing. Getting connected to customers over social media seems to be highly beneficial.

Employee Recognition

Social media is a great platform for recognizing employees’ accomplishments. Recognition allows us to interact with such employees and create a team that may help a company grow. Recognition may improve an employee’s morale. Employees may connect on social media and interact very often to discuss their problems, and getting better solutions may benefit the company in many ways.

Boost Brand Productivity

Using social media to its full potential may help boost an organization’s productivity. Social media at work may increase brand productivity by more than 20%. Marketing techniques should be monitored over social media to enhance productivity. Social media is the cheapest form of advertising, cutting out expenses made by print media.

Professional Connections

Employees may use social media to connect with people outside their company. They may be working for other companies. Creating formal relationships with them seems possible only on social media. These relationships may turn out to be an advantage for a company by generating leads, getting new ideas, and creating more business opportunities worldwide. LinkedIn is highly preferred for creating such professional relationships and strengthening a company’s business growth.

Employer Branding

Allow your employees to use social media to post positive things about your company. This may include sharing articles, posting funny thoughts about day-to-day activities, sometimes even videos, and live-streaming about how your employees are working in coordination and work culture. All these things will show how happy your employees are, boosting your brand.

Low Investment

Social media is cost-effective and provides higher reachability to users. Budget constraint companies are using social media at work to easily mark their presence across the globe without spending money on offline advertising, which is costly. You can save money by being at ease over the internet and using good marketing techniques. Most companies have their presence on social media to increase productivity and better business growth.

Life Outside Work

When you’re stuck inside office walls for the whole day, you slowly forget about life outside work. Countless tasks and responsibilities can quickly suck the energy out of you, essentially making you miserable. But social media in the workplace can remind you about life outside work and why you’re working so hard.

Negative Effects of Social Media in the Workplace

Negative effects of social media in the workplace

Can Be Addictive

The word addiction usually conjures up images of drugs and alcohol, but recent years have introduced us to a new form of addiction known as social media.

Social media allows easy access to photos, videos, posts, songs, and books worldwide. They get to consume an infinite amount of content daily. Ultimately, they always want something more and slowly become addicted to social media. They fail to realize that social media can only provide them with some temporary contentment and can’t give them any real fulfillment.

Employees addicted to social media work at a slower pace than their peers. They have small attention spans and produce sloppy work, making them mistake-prone and a possible liability to the company.

Detrimental to Your Privacy

People tend to overshare on social media all the time. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and say something you don’t mean. It can easily backfire and harm your privacy, allowing people to judge and form a false opinion about you.

Your colleagues will also behave in the same way. You may think they understand you, but no one knows what’s happening in someone’s head. It’s even possible for them to use that knowledge against you. After all, we all know how vicious office politics can get.

Cybersecurity Risk

Social media in the workplace using the company’s internet may lead to cyber hacks. Hackers may steal all data regarding an organization, which no organization wants to suffer. Cybersecurity may be a nightmare for an organization.


Young individuals can easily become attention-seeking prima-donnas by following their favorite influencers on social media. Plus, social media is built to make people anxious about the number of likes and shares on their photos and posts. It will make users want to spend most of their time pleasing irrelevant people.

Adults aren’t immune to this sort of behavior. Their craving for attention could easily go overboard, making them dependent on social media for temporary satisfaction and contentment. This can negatively affect their work ethic and productivity.

Negative Mental Health

There have been many articles and studies on social media and its impact on the mental health of its users. Communication on social media is inherently different from communication in the real world. It often leads to a false sense of security that quickly crumbles when faced with hostility or challenge.

Those who depend on social media for validation likely suffer from low self-esteem. They continuously suffer from depression and anxiety, making them unfit for most work environments.

Demeaning Remarks

It’s always tempting to vent our frustrations on social media, especially for employees who had a hard day at work. In the heat of the moment, they can share or post something that can come across as discriminatory. It can easily go viral, putting you and your company under the spotlight.


Misunderstandings may occur when any news or update is taken in the wrong way, harming a brand’s reputation. To understand it better, take the Snapdeal versus Snapchat controversy. The CEO of Snapchat stated that Snapchat is not for developing countries like India. Indians got furious at his statement and started uninstalling Snapdeal instead of Snapchat. This caused a major blow to the Snapdeal business.

Distraction from Work

Using social media during working hours causes distraction among them. Most people get curious to check their social media accounts in between work. It causes their focus to shift from work. Most people have been caught checking their social media profiles, watching videos, and even playing games. A decrease in productivity has been observed when employees use social media excessively. Low efficiency may run down the business of a company.


Most people are unaware of the darker side of social media. Sharing personal life events on social media may lead to bullying by colleagues. It creates differences among employees, affecting the company’s productivity.

Brand Reputation

Social media at work can boost a brand’s reputation, but a single mistake on social media may destroy it. You must understand what content to post there that does not annoy your customers. Irrelevant posts or disheartening posts may lead to disasters.

Time Waste

If you post content that doesn’t interest users, you are almost wasting your time on social media. Again, this leads to less productivity. Social media for personal use may also be time-wasting when used excessively during work.


Using social media to provide confidential data about the organization may lead to business loss. Thus, proper guidelines are to be framed, and employees should be informed regarding the use of social media. Many competitors try to contact their employees through social media to gain valuable information regarding the company’s business.

Technical Risk

Allowing social media while downloading various data or applications from the internet may lead to a virus attacking computers. All important data stored in a computer may be at high risk. The system needs to be formatted, which may cause the loss of such important data for the company. Employees must be tech-savvy to be aware of such issues while you allow social media at work.


Companies are being targeted on social media. Companies are at high risk of being exploited on social media by the false accusations made on social media to defame the company and bring down their business.


Social media is being used by competitors to bring down a company’s business by providing false information about its products and services. Competitors try to post negative comments about the company, affecting its growth. Every company must beware of such competitors on social media to save its business.

Social Media Policy in the Workplace

Social media policy in the workplace

I think it’s now quite clear that workplaces need social media policies in place. The following are some guidelines for all employees to consider in a social media policy.

Proprietary Information

It can include almost everything related to your company. For example, images of future products, details of development meetings, whispers regarding legal matters, etc.

Competitors monitor your social media accounts closely, so if an employee reveals something important, you can be sure that they’ll take advantage of it.

Headquarter Photos

Some offices don’t want their headquarters photographed. If your company doesn’t post photos of its headquarters on its social media profile, you should take the hint and avoid taking photos in certain rooms.

Personal Opinions

Most companies say they don’t care what their employees post on their social media accounts. Still, things can get tricky if an employee talks negatively about his/her company or employer.

Employees represent a brand, so they must be careful about whatever they post on social media.

Workplace Disagreements

It relates to the personal opinions mentioned before. Even if you had a bad day at the office, you can’t post something like, “OMG! Work was so depressing today!” because it can negatively affect your company’s reputation.

Privacy on Social Media Apps

Some apps, like LinkedIn and Twitter, aren’t private, so you can’t hide your posts there. The only thing you can do is delete your previous posts. You can also use apps like Facebook and Instagram to protect your information from others.


This doesn’t mean that companies have the right to spy on their employees’ social media. They just need to monitor brand mentions on social media using tools and searches.

Companies can also use employee monitoring apps, like the Staff Timer app, to quickly identify disgruntled employees using inappropriate language.

Over to you!

After comparing the positive and negative aspects, the positive aspect is winning the race. However, even a single mistake made on social media may harm a company’s business. Social media is a great platform to boost business, but only when used efficiently. Excess use in the wrong direction may eventually lead to failure. Social media is rapidly spreading across the globe, reaching out to millions of users. Employees need to be trained on social media in the workplace to improve employees productivity and performance.

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