Social Media and productivity in the Workplace

Some companies are still of the mindset that social media is a big waste of time, a fad that is only going to pass us by. But is it?

Think about how much time it takes to sort through emails, or prepare and send a fax or interoffice memo that may or may not reach the person in the time needed to receive an answer?

A new report finds that we are spending 28 percent of our work weeks writing, sorting, responding and deleting emails. That’s HUGE.

What if you could alleviate email, interoffice mail and the fax altogether? Sound too dreamy to be true?

According to another new report by USA Today, that uses the Chicago-based Trunk Club as a centerpiece example, social media can make companies more efficient, productive and even more connected with each other based on how they’re implemented.

Trunk Club Co-Founder/CEO Brian Spaly told USA Today that "he credits the site Chatter with fostering camaraderie among their employees.” Take a quick look at the video:

USA Today correctly points out, "companies are obsessed with squeezing more productivity from workers" which implies it’s not like employees can get any less productive at work.

We all encounter folks utilizing social media during their day. Our friends are on G-chat, Facebook and Twitter and not just at their desks. They are accessing these platforms on their phones or using services like Twuffer to bypass your systems in place to block people from using Twitter.

Let’s look back at the 2009 Australian study that came to the conclusion that "surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity" to understand that these workplace productivity issues aren’t something we’re just now trying to figure out. What is new are all the ways our employees are trying to bypass and override our restrictions.

When we try to block social technology altogether we send our employees a vibe that implies mistrust, which is something the Millennial’s will not tolerate too long before they start looking to jump ship.

If our organizations continue trying to ignore implementing the latest social and technological tools that are available, we’ll miss out on a major competitive advantage.

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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