First Business

February 01, 2012

HR: Four reasons to allow social media at work

Last week, Cisco launched their annual research project to track how technology is changing the workplace. Arguably, the most notable finding from the survey is data showing just how connected young people are to social media; so much so that they will often forgo a pay increase if it means keeping social media access or their choice of a smartphone device.

Study Highlights:

  • Many respondents cite a mobile device as "the most important technology†in their lives.

  • Seven of 10 employees have "friended†their managers and coworkers on Facebook.

  • Two of five students have not bought a physical book (except textbooks) in two years.

  • Most respondents have a Facebook account and check it at least once a day.

  • Half of respondents would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device.

  • More than two of five respondents would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to mobile device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

  • At least one in four respondents said the absence of remote access would influence their job decisions, such as leaving a company sooner rather than later, slacking off or declining job offers outright.

  • Three out of 10 respondents said that once they begin working, it will be their right more than a privilege to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.


  • Despite these findings however, many of the people I’ve spoken with about the research express concern over whether social media should even be allowed at work. They regard social media access as being a productivity sink, with employees wasting time checking Facebook updates when they should be working.

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