Our jobs at The Mary Sue revolve pretty heavily around social media, so it’s a big part of our day. We’re told some offices frown on social media use during work hours, but a new study by the University of Bergen in Norway says management tends to be guilty of more personal social media use than their employees.
Cecilie Schou Andreassen, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Bergen’s Psychosocial Science department says, “It is very interesting that top executives, who are negative to private web-surfing during working hours, are the ones who surf the most for private purposes when at work.”
Schou Andreassen goes on to try to justify the behavior by saying that the work and personal lives of top executives tend to be more intertwined, so personal use of social media bleeds over into working hours.
The study was published in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and used a sample of 11,000 Norwegian employees.
Besides the revelation that bosses seem to be fine doing something they don’t want their employees doing, the study also showed that younger employees used social media for personal use during work hours more than older employees, men did it more than women, individuals with more education were more active on social media than those less educated, and organized people tended to use social media less.
Singles also use social media more than people in relationships according to the study, which Schou Andreassen says could be because, “Social media probably has a greater social function for singles than it has for people in relationships.”
What the study doesn’t answer is whether or not employees using social media for personal use during work hours negatively impacts the company. Schou Andreassen says some studies indicate there is a negative impact, while others compare the effect of employees using social media to that of take a break to go for a short walk.
We’d be interested to see how these results compare to a similar study done in the US, or at least we’d be interested to hear from you about how you use social media while at work and what impact you think it has. Let us know in the comments.
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