Social Media in the Workplace

We couldn’t focus on this issue of the newsletter without looking at social media in the workplace and the detrimental effect that this can have when employees post negative things about a company or other employees.

How far can companies go when telling staff what they can and cannot post on social media?


A study revealed that 77% of employees access their personal social media accounts at work which shows there is a real need for a policy setting out what is expected. The policy should cover employees own personal accounts as well as the company’s social media accounts and how it is handled. This may seem over dramatic but it is important for companies to reduce the amount of risk in terms of social media.


Considerations when developing a Social Media policy


  1. Set out who owns what when it comes to social media & ensure the ownership of the company’s social media accounts belong to the business.

  2. Issue guidelines on what employees can and can’t post on social media.
  3. 
Identify those members of staff who will participate in social media on behalf of your company and assign roles.

  4. Make it clear that the social media policy applies to employees whether they’re posting inside or out of the workplace.


Social Media and Mental Health


As well as looking at the dos and donts of social media in the workplace, it’s also crucial to look at the effects of social media on mental health.


  • In 2018, the average time spent on social media averaged 136 minutes a day (Clement, 2019)
  • 
Social media has been described as more addictive then cigarettes and alcohol (Royal Society for Public Health, 2017) although the nature of addiction is complex.


Evidence is emerging of links between increased social media use and mental health problems as it encourages unhelpful social comparisons.


It is important for the care sectors and people employed within case to be mindful of the possible effects of social media on vulnerable people, particularly when people’s distress relates to how they see themselves. Social comparison on social media can reduce self-esteem and some employees and clients may benefit from education around this. Asking people about use of social media could be helpful as a routine part of everyday meetings and routine health assessments for care workers.


What can you do in the workplace?

  • 
Talk to employees regularly
  • 
Ensure that mechanisms are in place to support employees

  • Refer to Occupational Health if you notice any warning signs from employees


If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

Additional Reading