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Can I Get Fired Over Too Much Social Media Usage?

firedMost human resource departments have strict policies and procedures for anything from a chemical spill to falling down at the office, but the majority of them aren’t up to speed on how to deal with social media in the workplace.

With vague suggestions or ideas about how appropriate or inappropriate it is to use social media at the office, it can make people wonder, “Can using social media at the office get me fired?”

Since this can be a bit of a gray area, the way you use social media at the office can make a big difference in whether or not you’ll need to find yourself a new place of employment.

Social Media in the Workplace

It’s pretty clear that most people are accessing social media from the workplace.

Fierce, a Seattle-based training and developing company, reports that 23 percent of people say using Facebook at work negatively impacts their productivity.

Instead of gathering around the water cooler, employees are using social media to socialize with co-workers as well as friends outside of the office setting.

Social Media Ground Rules

Some companies have developed social media ground rules for their employees.

However, many found that investing in expensive software to block social media sites just isn’t effective. After all, most employees have smart phones that grant them access to social media.

Banning all social media can also kill morale for employees. Social isolation can be a big problem that can also decrease a worker’s productivity.

Many companies are also not just dealing with social media at work but how to deal with social media outside of work.

The subject of social media at the office often brings up many questions without clear answers, including:

* Should supervisors be Facebook friends with subordinates?

* What if a co-worker is accused of sexual harassment over social media?

* What if employees are talking negatively about the company in a public forum?

* What if an employee sends out pictures of the workplace that potentially leak sensitive information?

* How should gossip and negative chatter about co-workers be handled?

How to Use Social Media Responsibly at Work

If you are access social media from the office occasionally, find ways to do so responsibly.

Be careful who you choose to interact with from the workplace. Just because you work together doesn’t mean you need to share personal details of your lives with one another.

Don’t talk negatively about your job, supervisor or co-workers on social media. Nothing good will come out of it and it could cost you your job. Instead, remain neutral and respectful, and treat any social media interactions like you know for certain your boss will be reading it.

Avoid using social media at inappropriate times.

For example, don’t take out your smart phone during an important meeting with your boss. Try to save it for downtime or breaks so it’s less likely to impact your job.

Using too much social media at the office can certainly get you fired.

Try to keep your social media interactions to a minimum and above all, make sure your conversations are office appropriate.

About the Author: Amy Morin writes about psychology and business, as well as business people, such as Steve Wynn.

Posted in Social Networking. Tags: ,

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