Thursday, October 18, 2012

Social Media in the Workplace: To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn …The list of social media sites goes on and on. Chances are you have an account with at least one of these sites.   Whether you are an infrequent user, daily checker or avid mobile updater, there may come a time when you are on the clock and social media temptation will strike. 

Many employers understand how prevalent social media is in today’s culture (statistically speaking, they probably have their own Facebook accounts).  Knowing their workers have various pages and also knowing how much time a person can spend on these pages, many businesses are now including social media regulations in their handbooks.  When starting a new position, make sure to read through all the company’s policies and guidelines. 

On the other hand, there are companies that have yet to address this topic.  In that case, take it upon yourself to set boundaries, self-regulate and maintain professional decorum.  Here are 3 tips to get you started on the right foot:

  1. Socialize on your own time.  Working hours are just that: working hours.  Your phone should only come out on breaks—this includes texting—or for emergency purposes.  Resist pulling up social sites on your work computer.
  2. Keep your work life separate from your personal life.  This can be difficult because as soon as you publicly mention the name of your employer, you become a representative of that company.  When possible, especially on personal blogs, add a disclaimer such as: The opinions expressed here are solely mine and do not reflect the opinions of ‘Company.’  On the flip side, if social media is beneficial to conducting your business, set up separate accounts tailored to your work persona.  Your business’ business is their business, not the business of your 416 Facebook friends.
  3. Save work complaints for the HR department.  Recent court cases under the National Labor Relations Board prohibit companies from demanding their employees refrain from making disparaging comments about them on social media sites.  Though it is your right to speak your mind, online venting will get you nowhere.  Talk to someone who can actually address your concerns.

Social media is definitely changing the way society communicates and interacts.  It is changing the way business is done and impacting the workplace.  It is up to you to take responsibility for yourself and the words you put out for the world to see.  Think twice, post once.

J&J Staffing Resources provides professional staffing services – find your new job today!

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