Commentary

Two-Thirds Of Employees Use Social Media At Work

Unless they’re in social media marketing or customer service, most bosses probably don’t want their employees using social media at work, but you know what? Screw ‘em!

That seems to be the feeling of a majority of American workers, anyway, as 67% said they regularly use social media on the job anyway, according to a new survey of 1,000 drudges and wage slaves conducted by Bambu, a service from Sprout Social. And while that may not be good news for their productivity, it’s great news for advertisers and publishers looking to reach consumers during the workday.

Asked how much time they spend on social media at work, 18.7% of employees said they spend 15 minutes or less per day; 17.2% spend 15 minutes to half an hour; 12.3% said 30 to 60 minutes; 9.6% said 60 minutes to 120 minutes; and 9.4% said over two hours (which is basically an admission that they view employment as an unfortunate distraction from the pressing business of cat videos).

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As for when they goof off online, among respondents who use social media at work, 41.4% gave the acceptable response – “at lunch” – but almost as many, 40.4%, said they check in throughout the day. Meanwhile, 22.3% said they check social media at the end of the day, and 11.6% said they check during bathroom breaks.

Of course, one could argue that using social media at work isn’t a problem if it doesn’t affect productivity, but the thing is: it does. In fact, four out five respondents admitted that social media distractions have a negative impact on their work.

Some other studies confirm that social media usage in the workplace is mostly recreational and not work-related. In June, a survey by Pew Research Center found that 34% of respondents said they use social media to “take a mental break,” while 27% said they use it to “connect with friends and family.” By contrast, just 24% said they use it to make professional connections, and 20% said they use it to build or strengthen personal relationships with coworkers. Further, 77% of respondents said they use social media without regard to any official workplace policy regarding social media from their bosses. Translation: screw ‘em!
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