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Social Networking in the Workplace: Good or Bad?

Raise your hands if you’ve ever logged into Facebook at work.

Come on, now, don’t be shy. Get those hands up there. Don’t worry, your bosses aren’t looking. In fact, they’re probably scrolling through their own News Feeds right now.

Me, I’m a little bit lucky in that my job actively promotes being on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks — when your work involves social media, it’s in your best interest to stay engaged. But I’ll fully admit to logging on furtively in past jobs, hovering the cursor over the “minimize” button on the browser in case someone walked by my desk.

Some companies have combated the urge to be socialize online by blocking access to social sites. Others impose guidelines and stipulations, such as only logging on during lunch breaks. And others give employees utterly free reign, with the belief that being on social media makes their workers happier and more productive than those who are regulated or shut down completely.

The widely varying rules is what makes this infographic from Reed on social networking in the workplace so interesting. A few quick facts:

  • Roughly one third of companies allow social networking while on the job, while the other two thirds don’t.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, access to social networks varied by industry. People who work in finance and engineering are much less likely to use social networks at work than those in marketing and IT.
  • Of those that can log in, 64% do so on their mobile phones, while 36% use their work desktop computers (not a bad way to go if you’re logging into a personal social network account instead of a business account).
  • The most popular social site among employees is Facebook, followed by LinkedIn.

Read on for more, then let me know: what’s your work’s policy? Do you agree with it?




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