There is no denying that the popularity of social media platforms has grown over recent years. Although Bebo and Myspace may be a distant memory, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are certainly here to stay. Most of us now check our social media platforms several times a day, and it has even been said that they have an effect on the election in the US.

Here at FreeOfficeFinder we found ourselves curious about the way people at work might use social media, so we asked 1,000 workers to tell us about their use of social media platforms while at work.

Firstly, we asked people to estimate how much time they spend each day at work on social media.

graph showing how much time office workers spend on social media

When you take into account the average working day is 8 hours, 4% of people using social media for 3 hours or more each day is huge. Unsurprisingly, most people did use it somewhat each day, with the most common answer being between 30 and 60 minutes. However, according to the workers we asked, 33% of people use social media for less than half an hour each day; which means that most office works are staying off of social media to concentrate on being productive at work.

We then wanted to look at what websites people used when they were using social media.

Graph showing most popular social networks at the office


Over half of the workers told us that they used Facebook the most when browsing social media websites during work time. LinkedIn was reasonably popular and as this is predominantly used for networking at work that could be forgiven. Snapchat was the least used social media site used during work.

We wanted to delve a little further into this and look at whether the way people use social media while at work affects how productive they feel they are.

graph showing productivity changes due to social media at the office


The results show that 34% of people asked claim that social networks help them to be more productive during work hours – this could be backed up by the fact that many studies show that regular breaks do help the brain to function better. However, 51% of people tell us using social media the way they do make them less productive throughout their workday.

With this in mind, we wanted to ask them if they had ever been in trouble at work for using social media.

 chart showing social media policy at work


We were surprised that despite 51% of people telling us they are less productive at work, only 23% of people have been disciplined at work for it. 

We thought we would also look at whether people had used social media to find out information on their peers. 

 graph showing social media use with regard to colleagues in the office


Of the 1,000 workers surveyed, 840 workers admitted that they had looked up a colleague on social media.

Following on from this, we wanted to know if anything they had ‘accidentally’ seen on social media had made them think less of someone they work with. 68% of respondents said yes. 

All of this goes to show that social media is certainly going to be an issue for employers in the future. Management within workspaces will be looking at ways they can ensure that social media is using productively at work rather than just to be social. It is also worth bearing in mind that with so many people using social media in such an active way, managers can also use this to look into what their employees are up to, and that is certainly something to be aware of.