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Social media and job satisfaction: The best thing to happen in the workplace

October 02, 2013
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By Peter Walton

The 24/7, “never sleeps” nature of social media is the best thing to ever happen to the field of public relations (PR). At least, that’s according to the majority of PR practitioners surveyed as part of a recent research project by SFU Continuing Studies’ PR certificate program.

The PR industry has embraced social media like no other profession. It quickly adopted online social media skills, from tweets, websites and social networking to online photography, video and blogging.

Through the field of PR, it’s possible to see the impact of social media on other professions as well as professionals who face the steady growth of social media in the workplace.

Recent research has given us rare insight into how professionals are coping with the flood of social media in the workplace. The increasingly online world means many jobs in the 21st century have become all-hours, all-day, all-week endeavours. In response, the Vancouver campus at SFU has developed a number of programs specifically geared toward meeting this emerging workforce need through accelerated, full-time continuing studies programs.

The PR program, which teaches social media skills, responds to the speed at which these skills have come to dominate the industry. This year, SFU’s PR program conducted research surveying more than 180 Vancouver-based PR professionals, from recent grads to industry pros. The study offers insight into how PR pros and rookies are coping with social media—including managing workloads, work/life balance and job satisfaction in this little-researched corner of the 21st-century workplace.

What was the big surprise? When asked if their social media tasks affected their job satisfaction, 84 per cent of respondents said the hashtag tracking, status updates, Google analytics and blog monitoring they perform either had no effect on, or actually increased, their job satisfaction.

Said one respondent: “Work has not increased but, in fact, [has] become more flexible.”

The “always on” aspect of social media means PR folk have more control of their schedule. They enjoy the flexibility of instantly flipping between work and play, between client and personal social networking at a push of a button or the swipe of a screen.

The program is part of a series of ongoing research projects aimed at better understanding the modern job market. We continue to develop these kinds of projects in order to offer top tier, up-to-the-minute skills that set our students apart in a changing job market and engages the businesses and professionals who will eventually hire our graduates.

To find out more about the study on how PR professionals are coping with social media, look at our infographic.

Article originally posted on The EvoLLLution.