Workplaces are often rather slow to adapt new ways of thinking. The growth of social media led to panic in many companies. The quick fix was either a social media policy or outright social media bans. Sure enough, there’s a few people in the office who could chill with the selfies, but should Irish employers be embracing social media?

56 percent of Irish businesses ban social media in the workplace

A survey of Irish offices, carried out by Ricoh found 56 percent of businesses ban social media. Even with Facebook launching their Workplace app, 47 percent of offices ban “the buke”. 30 percent of offices lock down WhatsApp access, which is total madness in my eyes. Every office employee in the world should have access to WhatsApp Web. Email is an incredibly frustrating way to communicate that modern social platforms help sidestep.
Just why do employers see access to social media as being a terribly negative thing?

The generation gap

There is a distinct generation gap dividing opinions on social media in work. 82 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds believe social help with relationships in the office. Just 23 percent of workers over 55 years of age thinking the same. This difference in opinion is obviously frustrating for both age-groups. The younger feeling held back while the older feel alienated.

The workplace is a slow turning ship

HR departments are suffering through a constant challenge. They need to keep young staff excited about work and upskilling the older staff. Both are just as important as each other here. The former for retention and the latter to avoid alienation. Many offices still limit access to modern day essentials. Have you ever typed something into Google only for the results to be blocked?
 
Today, you can learn an insane amount of Excel or Photoshop on Google. Yet, many employers block these resources. You’ll end up asking for pricey courses instead. The ultimate false economy.

It’s all about trust

It really does boil down to that one simple word. Trust. Employers worry about your productivity. If they give you access to Facebook, you’ll just go on the doss, right?
 
There are plenty of modern day companies who operate very differently. Self-determined working ours and unlimited holidays are just some of the modern benefits. Yet some staff can’t Google how to a vlookup, or check a competitors social feed.
 
If you can’t trust your staff to work remotely or to have social access, why did you hire them?
 
Your employer hired you because they trusted you to do a job. They just don’t trust you to avoid dropping truth bombs on Twitter. It doesn’t really make sense, does it?

Whoa there! While we have you…

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