Twittering away time

The right level of social media regulation in the workplace can be a tough thing to judge.

An increasing number of employers are getting fed up by the amount of time their employees are spending on Twitter, or so says a new study.

The research, carried out by SME money saving website DealJungle.com, finds that over 47 per cent of business owners are ‘somewhat concerned’ by the length of time their staff spend reading their Twitter feed, with a further 15 per cent identifying themselves as ‘very concerned’ about their staff’s activity.

Employers have also raised concerns that the use of Twitter streaming programs, such as ‘Tweet Deck’, which provides continuous twitter updates, has led to a fall in office productivity.

The survey asked office workers to ‘honestly’ reveal how much work time they spend on their personal Twitter account. Whilst a majority (63 per cent) openly admitted to briefly using Twitter at work, only 13 per cent confessed to spending 45 minutes or more on the site.

Obviously though, no one likes to admit that they are slacking at work, so this figure is probably a lot higher.

Business owners are stuck between a rock and a hard place here. Many would like to ban staff from using social media during office hours, but with the promotion of such tools for marketing reasons it could be commercial suicide to do so.

It’s also pretty hard to enforce bans on personal usage when the boundary between personal and business use can be blurred – not least when someone has just one all-purpose account.

It might just be time for business owners to accept that, with social networking becoming more and more necessary for an increasing number of sectors, a bit of additional personal use comes with the territory.

See also: Social Media in the Workplace

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