Tag Archives: Workplace Etiquette

Social Media Use At Work

Have you ever used social media at work? Chances are likely yes. It’s seems like the vast majority of our society is pinned down underneath the death grip that is known as social media.  Since it either exists or augments nearly every aspect of our life it should come to no surprise that social media use in the workplace is common and often a distraction.  Technology has always had a “pros” and “cons” column, with markings on each side of the T-chart. Same can be said about social media use in the workplace; it has pros and cons.  In recent years, I’ve been fascinated with Germany’s economy and their outlook on employment. Recently, Germany’s workers won the right to a 28-hour work week. Isn’t that incredible? Germany is an economic powerhouse with a low inflation rate, the 4th nominal GDP worldwide, highly educated population, and the list goes on! (here is more info).

You want to know another interesting statistic about Germany’s workforce? Germany is leading the world in the least amount of social media use at work. They also have the fewest amount of internet users using social media. I might be trying to connect two dots without proven cause and effect here, but I think something can be said about the level of productivity, the shrinking work week, and booming economy to the absence of social media at work.

Well, let’s go back to our metaphorical T-chart from two paragraphs ago. We the cons of social media use at work have been covered here, but the pros have not.  Since social media use is so prevalent in our lives in the United States it is a vital way how we stay connected. There is undoubtedly ways that social media helps if used properly at work. Professional networking groups are dime a dozen all across Facebook, LinkedIn is a social media site dedicated to professional connections an career building, and Twitter is a great marketing tool. The internet is a tool for marketing today much like magazines were a marketing tool 50 years ago. A section of an assigned reading for school I recently read discussed the similarities from a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People and marketing books written today.  If used properly, social media can be used as a communication tool to benefit an organization or company. But, sadly, most of the time we end up wasting time looking at cat memes and getting into politically charged fights with strangers.

There is a middle ground somewhere out there, we just need to adjust our behavior and our habits built around technology use.

Workplace Complainers

Do you have that one person in your office that constantly complains about the job, the people, the process, the day, the weather, or the fact that someone just complained to THEM? Is this striking a nerve? In my 25 years of employment in the “real world” I have often encountered people that rarely have a positive word to share in conversation. Unfortunately, I am the person who thinks I can have a positive affect on these personality types and, at times, wear myself out trying to change them.

I recently read a blog titled: How to Handle Chronic Complainers that listed all the efforts I ever attempted in making a difference in a chronic complainer’s life. When reading the article, I almost lost all hope! The list goes on about all the things that DON’T work!  Cheering them up, suggesting solutions, ignoring the or complaining right along with them. These are things I’ve tried and tried only to fail and wonder if I am the problem! Why are these people drawn to ME!?

But, there is a glimmer of hope offered by the blogger. A trick that DOES work. When a person complains to you or sheds a negative light on something, you can respond with something like, “You know, that sounds terrible. I don’t know how you deal with all of these problems.” This wording, in a sincere fashion, is what I have been searching for in my 25 years of work. Sincerely let the person know you are sorry things are so bad, that you understand the trials and acknowledging that you hear them. This statement doesn’t mean you agree with their point, or are siding with them on their negative approach.

Words of Wisdom from Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa once said,“Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” If we could implement this into our daily lives, how would that affect those that we interact with on a daily basis? If only we could embrace joy and contentment over anger and jealousy. I know, it is easier said than done, especially for the chronic complainer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people to be fake at work. But, there is a difference between venting to a co-worker, seeking advice and living out life with those you spend a great deal of time with and bringing people down, asking for advice that you really aren’t going to follow anyway and trying to make a contest out of who has it worse.

This makes me think of Kristen Wiig as Penelope trying to “one up” everyone on everything.  Kristen Wiig/Group Therapy   AAAHHHH!  Maybe if the people in these sketches were to use the tip suggested by Alexander Kjerulf in his Chronic Complainer blog, Penelope wouldn’t be able to come back with her famous “one-upping” comments.

work complaints

What am I asking for?

My hope is that when we come to work we would try to focus on the good things about our job, co-workers, boss and company. Maybe just enough to not drag others down with you. If you want to tell me about an occasional incident or share something about your day, I’m all in. But, if you’re going to take my precious work time, in which I have a LOT to do, to complain for the sake of complaining, then I would rather you blog about it. I’ll read it when I get to it.