Where and why coworkers connect on social media
Examining employees’ motivations for connecting with coworkers on social media
Keywords:coworker communication, social media, uses and gratifications
This study explored the motivations employees have for connecting with coworkers via personal social media and which platforms they choose to connect on. Open and close-ended responses collected on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk from 307 individuals reveal insight into four research questions. First, participants were mainly connected to coworkers using Facebook (89.7%), LinkedIn (77.6%), and Instagram (69.5%). Second, no difference was found in employees’ motivation to connect via social media whether they are working in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid format. Third, participants had two main motivations for using personal social media accounts to connect with coworkers: a) sharing and obtaining personal information, and b) communicating about work and nonwork issues. Fourth, gratifications obtained by coworkers who connect with colleagues on social media include: a) professional networking, and b) an alternate means of easily communicating. The results of this study contribute to a fuller understanding of coworker communication via social media, especially in terms of the motivations and benefits employees have for connecting via social media in a post-pandemic world.
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