Should Employees Be Allowed To Use Facebook At Work?
The world has changed a lot the last few years and technology has fully taken over our lives. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are being used everyday and almost everyone carries around some sort of smart phone now. Social media helps people relax and keep updated with their social life. I was a bit curious about what executives and managers thought about their employees using Facebook at work. I cold emailed as much executives and managers, startups, small businesses as I could. Unfortunately some refused to comment or reply, but nevertheless I was able to gather some insights on what they thought about using Facebook at work.
These were the first executive level people that I reached out to for comments. It was easy to dig through my personal networks to find them. Wayne, who wants to remain anonymous, says that he doesn’t mind if his employees use Facebook at work as long as they get their work done. He believes that Facebook will not distract the employee and that the employee should be able to control themselves. Wayne believes that startup culture is different from other cultures and that everyone should be free as long as they get their work done.
Related Read: Best STartups To Work For In The Silicon Valley
Phil Libin from Evernote also believes in the same theory. Recall how Phil goes by the theory that his employees should have unlimited vacation and that everyday should be a vacation as long as they get things done. Man, who wouldn’t want to work for him? It’s like being your own boss.
Out of all the people that I’ve asked from the startup community only one of them told me that he felt annoyed when seeing employees on social media instead of doing work related stuff. He’s a senior engineer and believes that developers should focus on their work and not get distracted by others. The startup community seems to be very supportive in terms of allowing people to use Facebook at work.
After I spoke with some startup people, I connected with Andrew, who’s a sales manager at AT&T. I asked him the same question regarding employees using Facebook at work. His reply was an instant, “Absolutely not, employees should never be wasting time on personal things at work”. He then added that the company had strict limits and a professional image to keep. Another director from the support division said the exact same thing. The director believes that work is work and personal platforms should be pushed away from work. He did also say that if the employee’s role is social media related, then it’s perfectly fine to use Facebook at work, as long as it is work related.
From the few enterprise executives that I was able to get a reply from, I concluded that these guys definitely does not believe in letting their employees use Facebook. Some of the enterprise office computers have software locks on them that doesn’t allow employees to access to anything outside of the work softwares. It’s okay though, we all have mobile smart phones!
The last set of people I questioned was small business owners and managers. The first person out of this group that I went to was a manager/owner of a local chain of restaurants that I’m a regular at. Without even thinking, he said absolutely not and he would consider giving out a warning letter if the employee took a quick glance on their mobile facebook app. He believed that it is not only a disrespect to customers, but a huge disrespect to the restaurants image and attitude. He also commented that humans respond to customers slower when focusing on their phones.
Knowing that I was probably going to receive the same answer from other small business owners, I decided to switch up the question a little bit. I asked an owner of a print shop whether or not employees should be allowed to use Facebook at work if there is no customer. Surprisingly without hesitation, the answer was no mainly because they feel that there’s always something better to do, such as keeping up with an existing client or doing paperwork etc. Everyone agreed that it is perfectly fine to use Facebook at work during break or lunchtime though.
From my short little investigation, I was able to determine that most executives do not like their employees using Facebook at work. Startup is the place to be if you want to have fun and have the most freedom. We must not forget about all the perks startups have too! Go Startups!