Should Your Employees Be TikToking Their Work Days?

There’s much for your employees to share from their work life in videos on TikTok that would be fun for them and helpful to your company; likewise, there’s a lot of content on TikTok your company’s decision-makers could learn from.

I put it off, but I finally gave in and opened a TikTok account. I don’t have any videos to post yet, but I’m surprised at how enjoyable I already find it. I can see why people spend hours swiping up for even more to watch—endless more to watch. Should that endless more include videos made by your employees in your office or from their homes as they do work?

I’m going to deviate from my usual cranky, cynical Generation X perspective, and say, yes, it’s a good idea to be open to the idea of employees posting videos about their work and your company to their personal TikTok accounts.

Let’s say an employee is preparing for an upcoming company-sponsored event. You’ll have your professionally produced and legally vetted videos that your marketing department will post. But maybe the much more powerful promotion is to have the people preparing for the event make personalized videos of their preparations, sharing what they’re most excited about.

It’s a competitive time for companies to recruit new employees. If you’re proud of your corporate culture, and want to show how much fun it is to work in your office, why not encourage employees to make videos of work parties or interactions in the office to share on TikTok? Parameters will have to be set on what not to share, such as a rule about not recording videos of meetings or other events when private company information and plans are discussed. However, beyond that, it would make sense to give employees a wide latitude in what they share from their work life. It could be an act of kindness toward a co-worker or a work hack they discovered to get a task done faster.

Allowing, and even encouraging, employees to shoot videos to post on TikTok requires a leap of faith in your employees that they won’t share inappropriate content shot in your workplace or while doing work on behalf of your company. But more importantly, it requires you to create the kind of company and workplace where you don’t have to worry about that because those kinds of situations don’t happen in your office or while an employee is doing work on your behalf. If the employee recorded a video of an inappropriate, offensive conversation that happened in your office, the question isn’t why they shot the video and shared it; the question is why it happened in the first place. When employers know their workforce is looking for content to post to TikTok, they may be more likely to act in ways that they would be proud of others seeing. It’s like the workplace equivalent of the restaurant with the kitchen customers can see from their table. When you can watch the chef cook, you may have more faith in the food. Maybe the public and prospective employees would have more faith in the quality of your company if they could see inside your office and work life.

It’s possible to follow others on TikTok, so employees in a work group could follow each other, sharing videos in which they cheer each other on and educate each other about the work each is doing. The parameters set on this kind of sharing would be no sharing of work that is confidential (such as private work the company is doing for a client).

TikTok also can be a way to educate your Learning and Human Resources professionals. Protocol posted an article by Sarah Roach recently on what videos on TikTok can teach us about the “biggest workplace issues.”

Roach notes in the article how helpful TikTok videos have been in showing the changes that have taken place in how we work since the start of the pandemic. Some of the content is funny, and some is more serious, highlighting the frustrations a remote employee can experience. “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, creators said the videos gave people content to bond over. But they’ve since evolved as a way to explain how the workplace has changed since the onset of remote work and bring up workplace topics seldom discussed at work, like microaggressions and mental health,” Roach writes.

She points out, for instance, a discussion about how diversity initiatives are handled at companies, which videos shared through TikTok facilitated. “Creator Jazmyn W. agreed that TikTok is a more comfortable medium to express frustrations in the workplace around racism. While her platform is not solely based on workplace issues, she creates videos around her previous experience as a Black woman working in HR. She’s created a whole series around ‘things white women say that just don’t make sense,’ which has prompted conversations in the comment section of those videos,” Roach writes.

There’s much for your employees to share that would be fun for them and helpful to your company, and there’s also a lot on TikTok for your company’s decision-makers to watch and learn from.

What do you think of the idea of allowing—maybe even encouraging—employees to post videos to TikTok from your office or while doing work on behalf of your company?