Social media has been a popular phenomenon since its inception, but the proliferation of video-based platforms has made TikTok and Instagram major players. Using social media at work is not a new issue, but it could take on new significance with increases in bandwidth usage by workers on video-based platforms.
Do TikTok, Instagram, and other social media video consumption kill your company’s network and productivity? We won’t settle the debate about social media use at work here, but it can become a factor that impacts how you plan for business bandwidth and networking needs.
Social Media Use in the Workplace
As of 2022, Internet users across the globe spent an average of 147 minutes per day on social media. This is up two minutes from 2021. TikTok users alone spend a whopping 95 minutes per day on the app and on average look at it about 8 times each day.
How much of this, and other social media use, occurs while people are at work?
A survey conducted in 2016 found that:
- Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say they regularly check social media while at work.
- Some 19% say they spend 0-15 minutes per day, on average, doing so; 17% say they spend 15-30 minutes doing so.
- One in five respondents says they spend more than an hour per day, on average, using social media while at work.
It may be fair to assume that these statistics have substantially increased with the introduction of more video content, perfected algorithms, and new applications like TikTok since the time of the study.
Positive vs. Negative Social Media Use at Work
The most common reasons for using social media at work are actually positive ones, depending on your viewpoint.
- Take a mental break from work (34%)
- Connect with loved ones at work (27%)
- Support professional connections (24%)
- Sourcing information to help solve problems on the job (20%)
- Strengthening relationships with co-workers (17%)
- Learning more details about co-workers (17%)
- Asking work-related questions to people outside or inside the organization (12%)
Depending on your industry, employers may find some benefits in allowing employees to use social media at work, either for professional connections or temporarily relieving stress. But even if your company has a strict social media use policy in place, the huge popularity of personal smartphones and wearable devices makes staying connected while at work a fact of modern life.
Company Network and Bandwidth Demands from Social Media
When it comes to the drain on your company's Internet and network resources, there is a real cost. Modern social media applications continue to consume more and more data and information. TikTok, Instagram, and others that now focus on video can quickly eat up bandwidth and slow down networks if overused. The key for any IT leader is understanding this usage and what the future might bring, so your network can scale appropriately.
The bandwidth needed to support one person using the Internet network is as much as 700MB per hour using the standard video usage statistic equating to a video-heavy application. Here are some other common data usage numbers for Internet browsing:
Planning Ahead for Company Networking and Internet Needs
You may not have worried about the impact of social media use on your business bandwidth needs, but a new era demands it. Especially when new AR/VR applications are right around the corner that will demand even more bandwidth. Even with strict social media use policies, employees will still access social media during breaks, on their personal phones and wearables, and other mobile devices (all connected to your network).
And consider this: if your business lends itself to consumers spending chunks of time on your property while doing business (think of automotive dealerships, repair shops, hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, etc.), your clients are spending much of their waiting time engaging with social media on these newer data-hungry platforms. That experience will factor into their overall customer experience at your place of business.
You need options and a provider that can expand and contract according to your changing needs. It is also vital to have multiple options for connecting to the Internet built into your network. Diversity and redundancy are two sides of the same coin to help you eliminate over usage and have a backup for when your network goes down. MHO Fixed Wireless Internet and Networking solutions offer fast, secure, reliable, and scalable options to keep your company connected and moving at the speed of modern business. Contact us today about your networking and bandwidth needs and what the future holds for you.