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If you’ve been strict with your employees about visiting social media sites while in the office, you had better make sure you’re not a hypocrite.
According to a new Norwegian study by the University of Bergen (UiB), those in senior positions are more likely to spend a longer period of time on social media websites during working hours than their subordinates.
Titled, Predictors of Use of Social Network Sites at Work, the study analysed 11,000 Norwegian employees to assess how workers used social media while on the job.
It found top-level managers reported significantly more personal time on social networks at work than non-managers.
While employees themselves view their CEO’s social presence as having a positive impact, UiB’s study highlighted it was this very group of senior leaders who were the most critical of their staff using social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter in the office.
“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,” Dr Cecilie Schou Andreassen from UiB’s Department of Psychosocial Science, said.
The report also suggested reasons for their findings, which include hectic schedules of bosses and the fact that work and leisure are much more integrated for senior staff than for some employees.
“It is likely that managers are worried about reductions in output and financial loss as a result of use of private social media among their employees,” Dr Andreassen said.
“The finding may also reflect that people with a high socioeconomic status, are not as afraid to lose their job as those in low-status jobs. In addition, high rollers may be more interested in social media to advance their career.”
People with higher education were also found to be the most active social media users, and men browsed the internet more for private purposes than women did during working hours.
“Good regulations combined with motivational work challenges can prevent private browsing during work hours.”