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Don’t judge a (Face) book by its cover

Does using social media in the workplace actually increase productivity?

Jun 1, 2013

by Jim Kerr

Do you check up on your social networks at work?

As social media becomes a bigger part of day-to-day life for many, it’s also becoming more acceptable to log on to your social network of choice for a quick poke around during business hours.

This month’s edition of The Help Desk tackles the use of Twitter and Facebook in the office, and whether or not employers should even bother trying to stop these sites from being visited at work. Have you ever stopped to consider though that social media usage might actually be improving the performance of your employees?

A recent Bloomberg article on a two-year study out of Warwick University says workers who are encouraged to tweet, chat, like and converse on Skype are among the most productive. Researchers say the emphasis on social media use led to increased customer interaction and higher productivity, while also keeping companies digitally savvy enough to compete for young talent.

Then there’s the Mashable article that says employees who use at least four or five social networks “made more sales or handled customer service calls faster than those who weren’t on any social networks.” The Evolv study says using social media won’t necessarily make you a stronger employee, but their findings are certainly a reason to allow employees access to social networks.

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If you’re looking for another reason to revisit your social media policy, consider this – Business News Daily says a quarter of employees recently surveyed across Canada and the United States would not work for a company that has a ban on social media. The research by Intelligent Office shows that today’s workers are “personalizing and customizing their work in many ways, including work style, location and technology,” and social media use is part of that trend.

The NY Times might sum it up best though – if you “hire responsible people and trust them,” you’re on the right track.

What do you think – does social media belong in the workplace?

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