Negative effects of social media in the workplace you must be aware of

July 16, 2021

Negative effects of social media in the workplace

It’s not uncommon for people to check their phones while at work and spend time on social media rather than focusing on what they were doing before checking these sites. This way employees are more likely to make mistakes due to distractions from social media networks when compared with workers who don’t use them as often during office hours.

Social Media can also lead people into spending too much time online which could eventually

cause burnout such as stress levels increasing and feelings of depression intensifying. The worst part is that people are not always aware that social media usage is the problem behind poor work performance.

Hence, not knowing what is causing the problem means you can act appropriately to solve it. In this case, unplugging from social media or inventing a social media policy will be the solution to the problems listed below. 

8 negative effects of social media in the workplace that will harm your workflow

If you are aiming to create a place that your employees will love to work at and be a good boss, pay attention to any of the following negative effects of social media in the workplace. If you detect some of it, act accordingly so you can solve the problem and move on without consequences. 

Reduced productivity at work

One of the most obvious negative effects of social media in the workplace is that it consumes valuable time that could otherwise be spent improving your work. If you want to progress quickly and steadily in your career, you should focus on doing your best at work. In the long term, wasting time uploading, browsing, and analyzing your personal social media activities will hinder your growth. So, nip this problem in the bud and bring your A-game to the office.

Timothy Robinson, CEO of InVPN

In my opinion, the most negative effect of social media in the workplace is that it kills your time and reduces productivity. People who use social media during working hours don’t even realize the amount of time they waste on social media and count that in the total working hours.

This leads to dissatisfaction and disappointment which further affects their morale, decreasing their productivity. Therefore, the managers need to have strong regulating policies around the use of social media to avoid getting the employees trapped in this vicious circle.

Jabez Reuben, Owner at The Blueprints 

Anxiety and depression

Spending too much time on social networking sites can harm your mood which can affect your workplace. Chronic users are more likely to have poor mental health, including anxiety and depression symptoms. It doesn’t take much thought to figure out why this is the case.

You can see the carefully selected greatest portions of everyone else’s lives on social media, which you may compare to the terrible aspects of your own life. Comparing oneself to others is a surefire way to cause worry, and social media has made it much simpler. 

Miklos Zoltan, CEO at Privacy Affairs

The greatest risk negative effect of social media in the workplace for many will be depression and anxiety. Anxieties about COVID-19, about job security, about other family members. One of the best ways to prevent anxiety and depression, and to detect any signs early, is to establish a routine of regular team communication, exercise, sleep and diet.”

David Rowland, Head of Digital Marketing at Eco Online

Malicious malware and viruses

Some hackers are using social media to conduct fraud. Because of these online illegal activities, the company’s systems are vulnerable to malware. Some pop-up adverts or downloaded apps may include hidden viruses that might harm your company’s equipment and networks and even lead to a security breach. Furthermore, viruses and malware have the potential to corrupt important work-related files.

Stewart McGrenary, Director at Freedom Mobiles

Social media is psychologically unhealthy

People who are addicted to social media become heavily dependent on their virtual activities for satisfaction and validation. Before you know it, your self-worth is measured in likes, and your importance to the rest of the world is measured in shares. A small event, such as your post going viral, might make you feel on top of the world, while an equally inconsequential occurrence, can make you feel impossibly low.

All of this points to psychological distress, which you should avoid allowing into your life. To summarise, assess the benefits and drawbacks of using social media at work and make an informed decision for yourself. A few minutes of virtual joy aren’t worth compromising your career development.

Ryan Dalal, CEO, and Founder of Merge PDF

Employees may vent their frustrations on social media

Many employees use social media daily, which firstly may be leading to a drop in productivity. Other issues may occur as a result of excessive usage of social media, which may influence the workplace. Firing a client or having employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs may vent their frustrations on social media. The harmful consequences might be felt almost instantly, so having a solution upfront is imperative. 

Damien Knight, CEO of Workever 

Social media is a tool for gossip and harras

I think social media at work is ultimately a net negative because of its potential for misuse as a tool to gossip and harass. Many employees take to non-work communication channels to denigrate coworkers and managers and it can end up being an HR nightmare.

I have seen an off-color comment in Facebook messenger that was left open on an employee’s work computer while they were in the break room, which was then seen by the coworker that was being slandered, brought to HR and result in a firing because the aggrieved employee threatened to take the comment public if the offender wasn’t let go.

Brett Welker, CEO at Crush the GRE Test

Increases jealousy and affects the relationship with your team

One of the most damaging negative effects of social media in the workplace is jealousy among employees. With social media, you can get the attention of lots of people in an instant or gain popularity. But the problem is, not all people on social media have what it takes to be popular. And in the workplace, seeing your co-worker gaining popularity will deliver a seed of jealousy in you and lead to toxic company culture.

When someone brags about expensive they bought stuff like jewelry, a new house, or a car, again jealousy is triggered. When it happens, lots of things will be affected. It will affect your relationships with that popular co-worker and a negative mood will be all over the workplace. 

Israel Gaudette, Founder of Link Tracker Pro 

Employees are branded as part of your company

Very few people are very great at handling social media, and the rest aren’t. Even though employee advocacy is one of the most popular marketing strategies for your company, there are a lot of risks involved if a mistake suddenly occurred online. And because your employees will always be branded as part of the company whatever they do on social media would reflect on your company.

There have been some mistakes made by people who don’t have much experience handling social media. These instances negatively affected the companies they worked for intensely. Such errors have led to a lot of controversies, and companies have gone through a lot of losses because of this. It only takes a few minutes to become viral, so make sure your social media is in good hands.

Rachel Klaver, Co-founder and Marketing Strategist of Identify Marketing


Social media is undoubtedly a part of our lives and you as the employer don’t have the power to change that. What can you do is approach social media with a different mindset to minimize the negative effects of social media in the workplace. Be aware of the negative effects we listed and approach each of them individually so you can make sure none of them is affecting your work environment.

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