30 Surprising Social Media At Work Statistics [2022]: What Every Manager Should Know

By Chris Kolmar
Jun. 30, 2022
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Research Summary. While social media is often regarded as a hobby to be enjoyed outside of working hours, its usage is becoming more popular within the professional world.

However, there are varied opinions on whether the increased use of social media in the workplace is helpful or harmful to productivity and employee satisfaction. Some argue that social media is a distraction, while others claim it’s an essential networking tool. Well, after extensive research our data analysis team concluded:

  • 77% of workers use social media at work.

  • 98% of workers have social media for their own personal use.

  • 45% of companies have no social media policy for their employees.

  • 32% of workers report that their employer has regulations about how their staff presents themselves on social media.

  • The average employee spends 12% of their working hours using unproductive social media applications.

  • The average internet user spends 145 minutes per day on social media.

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Age | Productive Use | Unproductive Use | Job Search
77% of workers use social media at work

General Social Media at Work Statistics

  • 51% of employees state that their company has rules about using social media at work.

    Since the rise of social media, employers have needed measures to control its usage during work hours. A social media policy dictates the type of behavior that’s acceptable for a company’s staff online and when they deem it appropriate to use social media.

    A social media policy ensures that an organization’s brand image is protected and sets distinct expectations for employees.

  • 30% of workers at companies with a social media policy in place use social media on the job to take a mental break from work.

    Despite the fact that companies put social media policies into place, many employees continue to use these types of applications and websites in an effort to get a break from a stressful workday. Alternatively, 40% of employees who work at organizations without these types of policies use social media during the workday.

  • The most common social media for work-related purposes is Facebook.

    An estimated 19% of employees say that they use Facebook for work. In comparison, 14% of professionals state they use LinkedIn for work, 9% use social media tools that are provided by their employer, and 3% utilize Twitter for professional purposes.

  • 98% of employees use social media for personal use.

    Out of this massive percentage, 50% have posted about their job or employer online.

  • In the United States, 27% of people actively use social media for work.

    This percentage is significantly lower than the usage of social media for work purposes worldwide, which is 40%. The country’s that have the most people using social media for work include India at 47%, Canada at 31%, and Australia at 30%.

  • 36% of employers block social media usage during business hours.

    This represents an increase of 7% since 2012. Of the organizations that block their employees from using social media, 20% are restricting access to Facebook, 15% don’t allow Twitter, and 14% have banned Youtube. The percentage of employers who don’t restrict their employee’s social media access at work has dropped by 10%.

social media at work policy

Social Media at Work Demographics

Not all types of workers use all types of social media websites equally. Some sites are more popular than others, especially with certain age demographics. To find out more about the details of workplace social media usage, here are some of the most prominent demographic trends:

  • The most common social media platforms used at work are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  • 23% of employees aged 18 to 29 report that they have found information on social media that has improved their opinion of a co-worker.

  • 84% of adults aged 18 to 29 say they use any form of social media as compared to 45% of adults over 65.

  • On average, men are more addicted to social media than women, at a rate of 49.6% of compared to 32% of women having some form of social media addiction.

Social Media at Work Statistics: The Good

  • The most common reasons that employees use social media at work are to take a mental break from work (34%), to connect with their loved ones at work (27%), and to support professional connections (24%).

    Other runner-ups for reasons behind employees using social media at work include sourcing information that helps them solve problems in their job (20%), strengthening their relationship with co-workers (17%), learn more details about a person that they work with (17%) and to ask work-related questions to people who are outside or inside the corporation (12%).

    reasons employees use social media at work

    Top Reasons for Using Social Media at Work

    Reason for Using Social Media at Work Percentage of Employees
    Take a mental break 34%
    Connect with loved ones 27%
    Support professional connections 24%
    Help solve work problems 20%
    Strengthen coworker relationships 17%
    Learn about a coworker 17%
    Ask work-related questions 12%
  • Three out of four employees are connected with their co-workers on social media.

    The majority of these employees are connected with co-workers via Facebook (82%), followed by Instagram (52%) and LinkedIn (45%). Recently, there’s been a growth of co-workers connecting on TikTok as well (10%).

    how coworkers connect on social media

  • 78% of employees who use social media for work state that it is useful for finding new professional opportunities and networking.

    Other benefits that were outlined by workers who use social media for work-related purposes include staying in touch with other professionals in their field (71%), connecting with insightful experts (56%), and getting to know their colleagues on a more personal level (51%).

  • 82% of employees believe that using social media helps improve their professional relationships and 60% of employees think social media assists in their decision-making process.

    This perspective is influenced by the fact that social media in the workplace allows a professional team to communicate easily and work with each other seamlessly to solve work-related problems properly.

  • In a 2020 study, 80.4% of participants believed that social media usage at work contributed to positive two-way communication.

    However, the slight majority of participants in this same study, at 50.3%, believed that using social media at work did not improve communication between employers and their employees.

  • In a 2020 study, 52.7% of participants stated that social media usage in the workplace enhances work efficiency.

    The conclusion of this study also suggests that employees that are unsatisfied with their job may improve their productivity by using social media to take a mental break from their strenuous tasks.

most common social media for work related purposes

Social Media at Work Statistics: The Bad

  • One in five employees believes that using social media hurts their overall work performance.

    Alternatively, about 16% of people think that using social media at work doesn’t have any impact on their work performance and professional success, while 4% say that they experience both benefits and issues with using social media at their job.

  • 56% of employees who use social media for work purposes think that social media distracts them from their daily professional duties.

    Out of these percentages, 30% strongly agree that having social media at their disposal during work hours diverts their attention from pressing professional tasks.

  • 51% of employees who actively use social media for their jobs state that social media gives them access to too much information about their co-workers.

    While the use of social media in the workplace has been known to deepen the relationship between co-workers, this isn’t always the best thing. Keeping co-workers at arm’s length ensures that the relationship stays professional and social media can give people too much access to their team’s life outside of work.

  • In a 2018 study, 76% of employees who use social media for work stumbled upon other organizations that they were interested in working for.

    In comparison, only 60% of people who used social media strictly for leisure were finding companies that could entice them into leaving their job. This suggests that the use of social media at work could have a negative impact on employee retention.

  • In a 2020 study, 49% of participants disagreed with the statement that social media in the workplace does improve work performance.

    This was a much greater percentage than the 33.2% of people who agreed that social media at work helped their work performance and the 17.8% who weren’t sure whether social media helped their professional output.

  • 18.7% of employees state that they lose zero to 15 minutes of working time a day to social media usage, while 9.4% of workers say that they spend over 120 minutes a day unproductively on social media at work.

    average employee work time spent on social media

    Of these individuals, 41% explained that they check their social media accounts during their lunch break, 40% said that they would periodically look over their social media throughout the workday, and only 22.3% stated that they waited until the end of the day.

Social Media for Job Search Statistics

As a valuable networking tool, social media can also be a great way to find employment as a prospective worker, or to fund recruitment campaigns as an employer. To understand how social media is effecting the job market, here are some crucial stats about just that:

  • In a 2019 study on employees who began a new job, one in ten individuals found their current position through social media.

  • According to one study, 70% of employers use social media to assess potential job candidates before hiring.

  • As of 2018, 73% of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 found their last job through social media.

  • A rising 84% of companies use social media recruitment.

Social Media at Work FAQ

  1. What percentage of employees use social media at work?

    77% of employees use social media at work. This huge chunk of users grows to 98% when evaluating how many professionals are turning to social media for personal use.

  2. How important is social media in the workplace?

    Social media is very important in the modern workplace. This is because it’s been suggested by previous research that social media usage can improve employee productivity and communication.

    In an age when 99.8% of Fortune 500 companies are using at least one form of social media to represent their brand and improve communication, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of its use in the workplace is crucial.

    It’s important for organizations to clearly define their stance on the topic of social media. Having no regulations about their employee’s usage of social media can have dire impacts on success because it can harm their brand image online if their staff makes inappropriate posts.

    Additionally, companies without social media policies are more likely to find that their employees are using social media unproductively during work hours.

    On the contrary, if a company’s rules about using social media for work-related purposes are detailed, it can have a positive impact on building relationships and effective communication between co-workers.

  3. Is it okay for employees to use social media in the workplace?

    It is sometimes okay for employees to use social media in the workplace For example, it’s okay for employees to use social media in the workplace if their employer states that its usage is permitted. Many companies have turned to social media as a powerful tool for marketing and communication. As such, their regulations on social media use can be a little more flexible.

    Many employees believe that using social media at work assists them in their decision-making process, supporting relationships with co-workers, and productivity. Even if social media isn’t directly used for professional tasks, it can be a helpful mental escape from work to recharge.

    However, if an employer has a strict policy against using social media during work hours, it’s important to respect this regulation. Otherwise, employees run the risk of creating a negative working relationship with their company.

  4. How often do people use social media at work?

    The majority of people who use social media at work spend less than 15 minutes per day on these types of platforms. However, approximately 9.4% of individuals spend over two hours of their workday browsing social media. On a full-time schedule, this equates to over 40 hours a month that is lost to social media usage.

    If this time spent on social media isn’t used productively, it can be devastating for their employer’s efficiency.

  5. Why do people use social media at work?

    There is a wide range of reasons that people use social media at work. While some people are required to use social media for their job duties, the most common reason employees turn to social media is to take a mental break from their work.

    The eight hours on average that people commit per day to their work-life can be stressful and occasionally overwhelming. When the pressure of work gets too heavy, many employees view social media as an effective way to escape for a moment and clear their minds.

    Other popular reasons for using social media at work include getting in touch with friends and family, gathering information that helps solve work-related issues, and strengthening professional bonds.

Conclusion

Social media has evolved the way that people interact with each other and present themselves online in their personal lives, but it’s also had a major impact on the professional sector.

The emergence of social media began in 1997 with a network called Six-Degrees that had the intention to create a new form of networking online. This was followed by another basic platform that allowed messages and bulletin boards called Friendster.

By 2002, MySpace and LinkedIn had hit the internet and were gaining popularity. These types of communication-based websites attracted millions of users from the start because they opened up a new form of interacting with other people on the internet.

As of June 2022, there are now nearly 4.65 billion social media users around the globe who use an array of platforms to conduct personal and professional matters.

In some regards, the rise of social media has become an increasingly useful tool for businesses. Companies lean on social media to get their brand out there, employ creative strategies of advertising and communicate with their customer base.

Additionally, many employees believe that using social media at work has improved their relationships with co-workers, communication at work, decision-making, and even their overall productivity.

However, there is also a negative side to the ever-growing presence of social media. Certain statistics suggest that allowing social media in the workplace contributes to a lower rate of employee retention because a company’s staff is constantly exposed to other professional opportunities.

Many people also find that the use of social media in the workplace can be extremely distracting and hurt an employee’s overall performance.

While there is a mixed bag of opinions regarding social media’s place and its effect on the professional space, the existence of social media networks is a reality that’s here to stay, and it must be taken into account by employers.

77% of employees use social media at work

References

  1. EPew Research Center. “Social Media and the Workplace”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  2. Health Ventures. “How Much Time Do Employees Spend on Social Media at Work?”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  3. Statistica. “Daily time spent on social networking by internet users worldwide from 2012 to 2020”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  4. FirmPlay. “Social Media in the Workplace: Everything You Need to Know”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  5. EverFi.” The Top Reasons Companies Block Social Media at Work”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  6. BackLinkO. “Social Network Usage Growth Statistics: How Many People Use Social Media in 2021?”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  7. Pew Research Center. “Social Media Use in 2021”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  8. ZD Net. “Most of us avoid posting on social media because of co-workers”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  9. Harvard Business Review. “Employees Who Use Social Media for Work Are More Engaged — but Also More Likely to Leave Their Jobs”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  10. IRMM. “Social Media and Employee Productivity at Workplace”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  11. Clutch. “How Do People Find Jobs?”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  12. CareerBuilder. “70% of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  13. Forbes. “Social Recruiting Is Growing. Are You Prepared?”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  14. SHRM. “Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  15. Everyone Social. “Need Social Media Policy Examples? Here Are 7 Terrific Social Policies To Inspire Yours”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

  16. Entrepreneur. “97% of Fortune 500 Companies Rely on Social Media. Here’s How You Should Use It for Maximum Impact”. Accessed on September 18, 2021

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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