Social Media at Work – Distraction or Direction?

3rd September 2012

We came across an interesting article from HRReview about the effect that workers’ use of social media has on their productivity levels. The debate has been on-going for a while as to how much this lowering of work-rate actually affects companies financially. We have summarised accordingly.

There are very few of us who aren’t guilty of sending a quick text, or checking our Facebook every so often whilst we’re supposed to be working. Bibby Consulting and Support, employment law specialists, have researched and warned that far too many businesses are still suffering from an influx of workers distracted by their social media. A firm with about a hundred staff on its books can expect to lose 16 working hours every week, if employees were to spend just ten minutes each in distraction. You and I both know that our colleagues in the office often spend triple this time responding to texts and messages, so what bearing does it have on the company

Bibby surmise that the growth of social media brings the workers’ personal life directly into the workplace, with status updates and tweets being beamed directly to their browser or phone; regardless of whether they’re logged in or not. Apparently we shouldn’t be surprised to see an ‘IT and Social Media Policy’ coming to fruition soon.

This policy would see workers agree not to use their mobile phones and social media for personal use during working hours, under penalty of disciplinary actions. The fact that this solution is fast, easy to implement and virtually costless means we could see the action being rolled out nationwide very soon. Procrastinators beware!

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