Does Social Media Help or Hurt Intra-Business Communication?
Social media sites like Facebook have a lot of positive side effects that you wouldn’t necessarily think of right away. For example, employees can find each other on Facebook by listing their employer and meeting on the employer’s page. This can be a great way to increase bonding and teamwork among employees, but there can be downsides to it as well.
It’s a fact that having someone at work who’s on your side can be a huge plus. It can be good for everyone, really. This is partly because it gives you someone to vent stress with about any unpopular moves at work such as pay cuts, parking space drama, and so on. As a result, you will tend to vent about such problems less when you are actually at work. This negativity tends to hurt everyone including other employees who might also complain about it, and managers who have no choice but to do what they think is best. Enough grumbling lowers the pleasant atmosphere for everyone and just makes it more likely bad things will happen.
The ability for employees to find each other online through Facebook also has the side effect of making it much easier to engage in romantic relationships on the side after work. Apparently this phenomenon is on the rise. There’s a lot of debate about whether office romances can work, but many employers aren’t very keen on them since they end up just being a massive distraction to potentially everyone in the office if drama ensues. This can also seriously disrupt intra-business communication. If emotions are running high enough, jilted lovers might fail to properly understand what they are being told by each other, and miscommunication and confusion could result in serious damage to overall office cohesion.
Pro-Bonding and Teamwork
It’s just a fact that people who know a little bit about each other will just work together better. If people can have a friendly chat on Facebook after work about whatever’s happening in the day, installing phone systems, for example, or a party at work, then it can increase the ability of people to work together and communicate well when they are at work. It may not seem like it, but knowing someone and being familiar with who they are and how they operate can make understanding what they’re telling you throughout the work day much easier.
One of the down sides to social media connections between co-workers has to do with politics. If you “friend” someone on Facebook who you know through work, for example, you will also see all of their individual posts about thing that aren’t work-related. If two people have a very strong disagreement about some political issue, than intra-business communication at work could suffer a lot as a result. This could of course also apply to anything else that could be divisive such as sports teams, religious beliefs, or any philosophical difference of any kind.