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Large organisations welcome social media use

Whether you spend hours browsing updates or simply a few minutes checking in, most people interact with a social media platform of some sort throughout the day.

And while the debate continues to rage over whether or not these communication tools impact on productivity in the workplace, a new study has found that more organisations are allowing employees to access social media while on the job.

Results of a survey conducted by IT research firm Gartner have revealed that fewer than 30 per cent of large organisations will block social media by 2014 – compared with 50 per cent in 2010.

"Even in those organisations that block all access to social media, blocks tend not to be complete," Gartner's research vice president Andrew Walls said today (March 6).

"Certain departments and processes, such as marketing, require access to external social media, and employees can circumvent blocks by using personal devices such as smartphones."

It seems as though organisations of all sizes are embracing the use of platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for their own benefit – from small companies in the early stages of development to large firms with an established social media strategy.

So it comes as no surprise then that these employers are loosening the restrictions on access to these platforms for their workers.

Some may argue that not only can employees remain informed about news events by quickly checking their Twitter account, but a quick break to check Facebook or watch a YouTube video may help to create a more relaxed and productive work environment.

However, the shift in policy may also highlight a younger generation of employees entering the workforce.

Freelance HR consultant Lucy Turner recently told British human resources magazine People Management that social media has become a standard method of communication among Generation Y.

"A zero tolerance approach could potentially alienate a whole generation of the workforce," she warned.

Posted by Elise Ferrari

Castleford