Changing Attitudes to Some Uses of Social Media

When social media first appeared, most companies discouraged its use during working hours as it was seen as a disruption to work. More recently managers are encouraging staff to sign up to social media designed for the workplace like Yammer (was launched in 2008 and is similar to Facebook; in 2012 Microsoft buys it), Teams (a collaboration and chat tool linked with Microsoft Office), Workplace (started in 2011 by Facebook and is funded by subscription rather than advertising), Google Plus, Slack (popular in the tech industry), etc. These are turning companies into communities.

"...when you give everyone a voice and connect everyone in a company, great things happen..."

Julien Codorniou as quoted by Laurence Dodds, 2018

"...The idea is that by encouraging informal communication across different departments on a more equal basis, you encourage a sense of investment and allow new ideas to bubble up from the frontline into management..."

Laurence Dodds, 2018

This is important with people working more remotely and Millenniums being more technologically savvy than earlier generations.

"...conversations that once took place in phone calls, meetings and cigarette breaks  now increasingly happen online, and can be shared across offices and time zone..."

Laurence Dodds, 2018

The positives include happier staff (especially introverted staff as they can communicate in a way that suits them), better working processes, less e-mail use. It is harder to define productivity or profit benefits. The negatives include it normalises interruptions, multi-tasking and distractions (it is like attention deficit disorder); can change people's behaviour, ie more abusive messages

"...conversational or informal nature of these platforms creates more problematic content..."

Greg Moran as quoted by Laurence Dodds, 2018

There is a need to handle the question of surveillance, ie stop sexual harassment, prevent data leaks, analyse staff happiness in aggregate.

"...Social media networks at work are mainly a tool for communication, but the data they generate could be used to improve business practices, analyse teams' relationships judged performance of individuals......(or) just the latest way in which employees are using technology to increase control of workers..."

Laurence Dodds, 2018


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