Today’s workers incorporate social media into a wide range of activities while on the job. Some of these activities are explicitly professional or job-related, while others are more personal in nature. The survey asked Americans who are employed full- or part-time about eight different ways they might use social media while on the job and found that:
- 34% ever use social media while at work to take a mental break from their job
- 27% to connect with friends and family while at work
- 24% to make or support professional connections
- 20% to get information that helps them solve problems at work\
- 17% to build or strengthen personal relationships with coworkers
- 17% to learn about someone they work with
- 12% to ask work-related questions of people outside their organization
- 12% to ask such questions of people inside their organization
As noted above, 17% of workers say they use social media to build or strengthen personal relationships at work – but the transparency that social media facilitates comes with costs as well as benefits. Some 14% of workers have found information on social media that has improved their professional opinion of a colleague; at the same time, a similar share (16%) have found information on social media that has lowered their professional opinion of a colleague.
A relatively modest share of workers say they have incorporated specific social media platforms into their day-to-day work lives:
- 19% of workers say they ever use Facebook for work-related purposes.
- 14% ever use LinkedIn for work-related purposes.
- 3% ever use Twitter for work-related purposes.
- 9% use a social media tool provided by their employer for work-related purposes.
- 5% use social media platforms other than the ones listed above for work-related purposes.