Social media may hinder productivity, but some employees won't work without it

Social media can negatively impact workplace productivity.

Social media can negatively impact workplace productivity.

Every workplace faces the possible issue that employees are wasting time at work. With the popularity of social media, it's easier than ever for employees to become distracted and spend time watching videos or chatting with friends online. 

As HR is tasked with monitoring employee activity, personal smart phones can be problematic since they cannot be tracked by the company. Because of these devices, it is easy for employees to become distracted but remain under the radar. 

An article in Business Management Daily discusses this issue, noting a survey conducted by the Proskauer law firm that found that 70 percent of employers had to discipline employees at some point due to misuse of social media while at work.

Some of the reasons noted for the disciplinary measures were that employees were using social media to harass co-workers or misrepresent the business.

Clearly these types of actions can be harmful, and businesses must take steps to ensure social media is properly used. Employers can accomplish this by setting guidelines for social media use and making sure employees receive training in this area. 

Restricting or prohibiting the use of social media in the workplace is another option. However this may carry potential ramifications depending on the generation of employees being affected by the restriction.

According to a Forbes article, some members of the Millennial generation would rather take a lower salary from an organization that does not restrict social media access than work for one that does. 

This issue is of concern to HR departments vetting younger workers. While workplace productivity is a top priority, so is hiring top talent. HR software solutions can help HR departments monitor these issues to find the right balance between restricting and allowing activities that affect workplace productivity.