Although many companies are utilizing social media tools to leverage their brand, interact with customers and employees, many employers worry that the use of social media by employees can significantly hinder productivity within the company.
In this article, two executives from two different companies express their opinions about the role of social media in the workplace and the potential impact on workplace productivity.
On the one hand, you have the camp that believes any time spent on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is quite simply time not spent on work, thus hindering workplace productivity. Many companies that employ this belief think that the solution to this problem is to restrict access to these sites within the company. On the other hand, you have the camp that believes that the use of social media can actually enhance worker productivity through enhanced collaboration and that embracing a flexibile work environment will allow companies to get more out of their employees in the long run.
Is it reasonable to expect that every minute of an employee’s time at the work place is going to be 100% devoted to “work”? It’s human nature for people to look for distractions and outlets during the workday in order to give the brain the breaks it needs to continue working efficiently. Regardless if social media is accessible at the workplace, people are still going to pursue these outlets, whether in the form of a casual conversation with a colleague or a walk outside the office for some fresh air. At the end of the day, employees are expected to complete certain day-to-day tasks and meet the expected production levels put in place by their managers. Managers should be focusing on the production and overall performance level of their employees.
Looking at your own individual work environments, do you think many employees spend an excessive amount of time using social media for personal purposes? Do you think if these sites were unavailable, that more of this time would be devoted to work-related tasks, or would it be spent on other distractions? Do you think your company is receiving the expected level of production out of most of its employees on a day-to-day basis?