You probably think social media is a productivity killer that drains your teams’ performance.
If so, you're not alone. More than half of U.S. companies restrict access to social media for that reason.
But, if you ban social media in the workplace, you might be doing yourself and your company a disservice. Why? Because there are many surprising benefits of allowing staff members to use social media during work hours.
Keep scrolling to learn what those are...
It improves employees’ productivity
Here’s the deal: One of the major concerns about social media at work is that it might take a toll on employees’ productivity.
On one hand, it’s true. Most employees spend a whopping 1.5+ hours daily on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at work.
On the other hand, when employees are allowed to browse social media at leisure, they grow 9% more productive. How come? Because it’s everything but easy to maintain focus for eight hours straight.
We all need breaks and social media downtime—even if it's to scroll mindlessly through feeds—and one of the pros of social media is it can give a much-needed rest and poise employees to deliver more with the rest of their time.
As a cherry on top, social media breaks can prevent decision fatigue that wears down employees’ reasoning and willpower (according to Psychology Today.)
It keeps employees engaged
Picture this: You have the best talent onboard. They all can do the job of three while juggling a bunch of tennis balls. But, the staffers' engagement levels have flatlined. Some drag their feet to work, and others are already cramming their resumes with power words in hopes to find better employment options.
In fact, disengagement isn’t uncommon since a staggering 68% of U.S. employees aren’t engaged at work.
If you let employees use social media at work in short bursts, it can resuscitate morale and improve company-wide engagement.
First, using social media in the workplace lets employees connect with people in similar roles, which allows for a plethora of engagement benefits like knowledge transfer, improved collaboration, and brainstorming.
Second, when permitted to use social media sites like LinkedIn at work, employees get to keep up with industry trends. As a result, they’ll stay abreast of new developments in the field, which ultimately can help them create more value for the business.
Keeping staff engaged doesn’t come easy for most companies. But if you allow social media at work, it might help resuscitate company-wide morale and improve the way employees feel and work.
It helps tackle work-related issues
As noted above, social media usage at work can improve productivity and engagement, and eliminate decision fatigue.
Another use case of social media is to use it for work to tackle complex business problems specifically.
In this instance, employees will be more likely to use Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn—over Instagram or Reddit—to post questions, crowdsource opinions, or yet again stay on top of industry trends.
Need proof? A whopping 56% of U.S. workers think social media helps improve their job performance. Another 60% of employees believe that social media allows for better decision-making processes.
So, if you let employees browse social media at work, it might have a positive effect on employees’ work product and their overall performance within the role.
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It helps reinforce relations in the workplace
At the heart of each top-performing team are individuals and the magic they create when they work side by side. If staff members can work collaboratively with someone they trust, they’ll do everything it takes to deliver better work product.
So, if you let staffers use social media in the workplace to interact with each other, you’ll enjoy more cohesive teams, and by implication, improved productivity.
Based on David Maxfield’s recent report, social media helps build better relationships in the workplace.
There’s more: According to a survey, 68% of workers are connected with peers on social media, which makes social media the ultimate avenue to facilitate idea-sharing, encourage communication between employees and teams, and create a sense of community.
About the author
Max Woolf is a writer. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.