How to Support an Employee Who Has Got a Social Media Addiction Problem

Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

How to Support an Employee Who Has Got a Social Media Addiction Problem

The explosion of social media popularity over the last decade has led many people to become addicted.

How do you ensure notifications don’t get in the way of working? 

 For businesses, it’s bad news as many staff can’t go more than 60 seconds without checking for notifications across the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What’s to be done about a digital crisis?

In this guest blog, David Price, Chief Executive at Health Assured explains why addiction to social media could not only affect your work but your mental health too and how to combat these issues. 

The situation is now so serious, in March this year The Guardian reported on one MP asking for it to be classified as “a disease”.

Stopping Staff Access

Procrastination is such an issue that many companies now block social media use entirely across their workforce.

That’s a drastic step to take and one that may upset staff. There are other approaches, such as looking out for signs of addiction and supporting staff from there.

social media - addict


Health Assured states 5 signs to look out for. These are:

  • Relentlessly using their phones, including an inability to stop checking even after being asked to.
  • Responding immediately to notifications.
  • Obsessing over interactions such as likes, shares, and messages.
  • Using social media as the primary form of communication.
  • Taking pictures at work to upload to social media platforms.

Such behaviour not only impacts their quality of work—and commitment to their role—but it affects their mental health as well.

The Centre for Mental Health notes that it promotes a feeling of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and a fear of missing out.

Proving Business-Wide Support

Social media rehab, if you will, should recognise addiction comes in many forms. Whether it’s alcohol, drug, or gambling addictions, these issues are very real.

Some employers may have a lack of sympathy over a social media “addiction”—just remember it’s more of a silent issue, however, with long-term consequences for allowing it go untreated.

social media at work addict

To combat these issues, you can establish a social media policy that makes it clear exactly what you will and won’t allow.

For the finer details, you should make it clear what you expect of each staff member in their contract of employment.

Remember, you’re within your rights to do so. Just make sure everyone knows what your policy is—as social media is now so ubiquitous in day to day life, employees come to expect rules and regulations surrounding it.

But by restricting their time on the available platforms, it’s a big step towards stopping your employees from accessing their accounts and engaging with them.

Some other tactics can include:

  • Referring your staff members to your EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) for support.
  • Introducing engaging ideas in your office, such as a games room, to provide alternative break time activities.
  • Directing employees to other engaging online services, such as WordPress or YouTube, to increase their cultural intake.
  • Enforcing a no smartphone policy.

As the world of social media continues to go, addressing it head on can be a big step towards ensuring your workforce remains focused and happy.


If you’d like to find out more on how to use social media to achieve your business objectives then call Status Social on 01332 776910 or 0115 824 8242.


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