Anna Bubnova

Publication Date

Spring 2014


This study examines the role of social and work media in the workplace and the implications for employees who choose to be offline. Three sub-departments within an IT department at a public university were observed and four employees were interviewed. The findings indicated that social media only played a role in marketing and public relations. Work media, including Google apps, IRC chat, IM through Pidgin, and over the phone were found to be the main modes of communication. The organizational structure, which had specialized departments, required the employees to communicate, whereas the centralized, fast-paced organizational culture required employees to collaborate. Due to individual preferences in communication media, employees had to tailor the medium they used to the preference of the desired contact. Analyzing the norms and social conventions for how these media were used, constant availability was found to be a company expectation. Being offline may simply not be an option for future employees working in professions that require communicating via technology.

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Document Type

Student Project

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Communication Commons