You need to consider the impact of social media sites at work

According to a survey which was conducted by Millennial Branding, individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 who are also known as the Generation Y have on average 16 friends from work on their social media network such as on Facebook. This could lead to negative impacts on their careers as many do not realize that speaking their mind on such websites with regard to their jobs is not a very positive thing. According to the founder of Millennial Branding, publishing anything online at the time being has high chances of coming back to haunt them in the workplace later on in their lives. Having work related friends, managers and co-workers on your personal profile on these websites allows them to gain insight into your social life which could result in uncomfortable situations at the workplace or could result in termination as well. This is of particular importance these days as a number of employers have upgraded their employee monitoring techniques which allows them to keep an eye on social media websites where their employees may engage. This technique is used to only observe their existing employees but prospective employees are also observed through social networking.

The study also found 64% of individuals from the Generation Y do not list down who they work for on Facebook as they are fearful of being found by their employer. However having work friends in your friend list is one way through which your anonymity can be compromised. According to the authors of the study, the problem is not associated with how ignorant the employees are however it is due to the issue never having been dealt with before. Hence, very few individuals know how to behave on social media websites with respect to their work and whether or not they should add their work friends on social media.

The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a poll recently to find out the numbers of employers who monitor their employees as to what they do on their computers and on their phones, according to MSNBC. While the report is yet to be released, a spokeswoman for the group by the name of Jennifer Hughes told MSNBC that out of all the employers who were surveyed, 39% were found to be monitoring the activities of their employees on social media websites while they made use of computers within the company and while they used their mobile phones and other handheld gadgets.

She further went on to add that 40% of organizations have policies with respect to social media. Amongst these organizations, 33% claimed to have taken some kind of action against employees who had broken the social media policy within the last 1 year. Thus, it shows that when employees are making use of the internet on computers owned by the company or texting friends and family through phones which the company has provided, Generation Y individuals should ensure that everything they send is appropriate. If not, with the employers monitoring their usage of these devices, chances are that they would get into trouble and depending upon the kind of policies in place by the organization, could face disciplinary actions as well.

Monitoring of employees by their employers has become very common and this feature has extended to the monitoring of activities on social media as well. While having work related friends in your personal profiles can be risky, care must be taken that nothing inappropriate is said about the company you work for or the people you work with. Furthermore, it is always best to refrain from saying anything inappropriate online as it could lead to future problems.


Originally published at www.theonespy.com on October 22, 2014.

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