Many employees hit the Like button on social media, but it’s more complicated for the boss

Many employees hit the Like button on social media at work (their bosses, on the other hand …)

Call it the Escape Hatch. You keep a work-related window open on your monitor so that if the boss walks by, you can quickly minimize FarmVille and maintain the appearance of being 100-percent productive — or depending on your situation, the illusion.
Let’s go ahead and count the American workplace among the many settings where the struggle to reconcile the wired life with life itself continues to play out. recently surveyed 3,200 workers and found that 64 percent of them admitted to going online for reasons not related to work — not rarely or occasionally but every day. Want to put that number in perspective? Look around your office and randomly pick three colleagues. Statistically speaking, two out of the three will spend some amount of time goofing off on the Web between the time they clock in and the time they clock out.
And if you happen to be reading this blog at work right now, a coffeemaker’s not the only thing you share with them.

For the company, it’s a thin line between love and hate

The survey identified Facebook as the preferred destination for 41 percent of these workplace wanderers — which brings us to the big disconnect.
Many employers love social media, but only if it’s used for very specific purposes. Research by PayScale found that more than half of businesses utilize social media as a recruiting tool, mostly on Linkedin. Helping locate and hire new talent is one thing, and tweeting on @MyBossStinks is obviously another.

PayScale also found that:
- 53 percent of employers have a formal policy on employees using social media, while 42 percent don’t allow it at all.
- If you want to work for a company that smiles on social media use at work, try your hand at a media career (59 percent encourage it) instead of the energy industry (71 percent prohibit it).
- Two out of five Generation Y workers consider social media access more important than a higher salary, and 50 percent of employees over age 55 use it at work every day.

Using technology to call a truce

Instead of scanning status updates and Twitter feeds on the clock, maybe employees could compromise —and compartmentalize.
Draw a line between work time and personal time. On your lunch break, retreat to the breakroom or go offsite. Fire up your laptop (yours, not the company’s) and use social media as much as you want until it’s time to punch in again. If you’re a CLEAR wireless Internet customer, the same technology that created America’s first 4G network will provide you with a city-sized hotspot to ensure a reliable connection.
As a reward for your integrity, the boss could ease up on the deadline pressure — maybe even let you leave early on a slow Friday. A win-win for labor and management.
Best of all, you won’t have to worry about setting up an Escape Hatch.

About the Author:
Samantha Hu
Social Media Coordinator
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