At risk of being named grand marshal of the annual Ludditeville Labor Day Parade…
Here’s a quick post postmortem to TPC’s recent post regarding social media and its potential clash with concerns over workplace productivity.
Study Looks at Social Media Acceptance, Concerns
A new study by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law seems to show business execs feeling conflicted — in some cases, literally of two minds — over social media’s benefits and potential pitfalls.
The online survey, conducted in July, garnered responses from a random sampling of 438 management, marketing and human resources executives. Findings included:
- 81 percent described social media as a potential corporate security risk (the study summary does not define “security risk,” but reading between the lines, it seems to be referring to a breach-the-firewall, IT type of risk).
- Ironically, the same percentage said social media can enhance customer relationships and build brand reputation.
- 69 percent said social media can be a useful tool for recruiting new employees, and another 64 percent said social media can be an effective customer service resource.
- 51 percent fear social media could be detrimental to productivity, while nearly as many — 49 percent — expressed concern that social media could damage company reputation.
- 40 percent of the execs surveyed said their companies block employees from using social media during work time
- Only one in three of the companies represented by respondents have implemented social media guidelines, and only 10 percent have undertaken social media training for employees.
Study sponsors say the findings argue for adoption of thoughtful social media guidelines (their summary report suggests 10 very broad ones), along with training for employees.
TPC’s Survey: Unscientific, but Interesting
For the record, TPC conducted its own survey tied to our last post on the topic of social media being potentially in conflict with office productivity.
The one-question TPC MicroSurvey asked whether, if witnessed by a supervisor or peer visiting a social media site during work hours, respondents would feel:
- Pleased for being seen as cutting edge
- Embarrassed at being “caught”
- Fearful of being reprimanded or even fired.
In all, eight people clicked through from the post to answer our highly unscientific, uni-question survey. Of those eight, responses divided as follows:
- Pleased: 4
- Embarrassed: 3
- Fearful: 1
Which raises what is probably an unanswerable question:
Cup half full, or half empty?
Is it a sign of growing social media acceptance, with more certain to come, that half of respondents would be glad to be seen viewing social media during work?
Or, is it a sign of a potential “chilling effect” that 50 percent — remember, these are people reading, commenting and taking action on a blog post — say they would be either embarrassed or fearful if seen visiting a social media site during work hours?
We’ll leave that question for you to ponder.
Whether you do so on work time is your call.