Lee Rainie Discusses Social Media's Role in the Workplace with USA Today

Andrew Young — June 22, 2016

This week the Pew Research Center released “ Social Media and the Workplace,” a new report exploring how Americans use social media while on the job. Lee Rainie, Network member and director of internet, science, and technology research at Pew, shared insights with USA Today regarding the report’s findings (such as 77% of workers saying they use social media at work, regardless of any policy restrictions from their employer)..

Rainie argued that both shifting conceptions of work-life balance and the types of work employees perform affect social media usage:

“‘The boundary between work and home is a lot more permeable than it used to be,’ Rainie said. ‘There’s more flow and fluid in people’s lives.’

Rainie said workers who do more reading and writing generally are the ones more likely to find social media useful at work. Fifty-six percent of workers who do use the networking sites for work claim that social media help their job performance. However, 56% also say that the sites distract them from work.”

Rainie also noted that age is – at least temporarily – a factor.

“Although there is an age gap in some of the data, Rainie does not think this disparity is inevitable. ‘As young people become older people, they will continue to use these things,’ he said. ‘Social media is still unfolding. There are lots and lots of ways that new platforms will come online.’”

Read more here.