Most of us avoid posting on social media because of co-workers

Are you belittled by your co-workers for your choice to speak out on social media, or are you too worried to say what you really think?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

It can be hard for employees to keep their social and professional lives separate when the majority of the office is connected on social media. We can often feel conflicted, as we can't actually post what we would like to without fear of judgment at work.

As our opinions about work might have changed during lockdown, we might be more critical of office processes and how we collaborate across media channels.

Ontario-based digital workplace solutions provider Igloo Software has uncovered data on how employees view the use of social media when it comes to being connected to co-workers and how it affects what they feel they can post.

It polled over 2,000 employees in organizations and over 5,000 staff across industry sectors, from entry-level to C-suite roles.

The COVID-19 lockdown has forced us to stay home and adapt. However, the study showed that over one in three employees (36%) do not work at home at all, and almost one in 12 (8%) work from home full-time.

However, most workers (82%) would consider returning to a job that is office-based rather than working remotely due to most (79%) having challenges that in-office workers do not experience.

Most of us avoid posting on social media in case our co-workers see what we post zdnet
Igloo Software

Reasons range from missing out on important information because it is communicated in person (44%), being excluded from meetings or brainstorms (43%), or not receiving information about process or policy changes (28%).

Other challenges include being unable to access important documents or information (35%) or being unable to access people or groups due to technical issues (35%). Almost one in three (32%) struggled as they felt excluded from office-based events like happy hours, lunches, etc.

The data shows that three out of four employees (74%) are connected with co-workers on social media. The majority of employees are connected with co-workers on Facebook (82%), then Instagram (52%), and LinkedIn (45%). One in 10 is connected on TikTok.

However, almost three in four (72%) have decided not to post something on social media because a co-worker might see it, yet over half (52%) have felt left out after seeing co-workers socializing in pictures posted to their personal social media accounts.

This is concerning amid a time when much political action is being taken on social media -- employees should feel empowered to post their views rather than stay quiet.

But if speaking your mind means losing your job, then perhaps it is wiser right now to hold your counsel, keep your opinions to yourself, and get on with your job.

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