In decades gone by, surfing social media channels during work hours was a surefire way to earn yourself a one way to ticket to disciplinary town. It was seen as a distraction by senior staff who often came from generations which didn’t quite grasp the professional potential of social networking platforms.
LinkedIn brands itself as a ‘business and employment-orientated service’ and quickly evolved into the ‘world’s largest professional network’ so there has always been more slack allowed for this greyscale platform. However, more vibrant and diverse sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are only just beginning to get the validity they deserve.
Of course, there are always employees who take advantage of permission to access social media during work hours – that’s what your Social Media Policy is for – but restricting activity on account of the minority could almost definitely be detrimental to the productivity and morale of your majority.
The advantages of using social media at work
At My Digital Wirral, it’s in our nature to champion the benefits of social media but we think there’s still work to be done in convincing those from more corporate industries that using social media at work doesn’t always constitute skiving.
Here are some interesting stats from a study by Pew Internet on what staff use social media for during the working day.
- 34% use social media to take a mental break
- 24% use it to build or nurture professional connections
- 20% use it as a source of information to solve problems at work
- 78% find social media helpful in sourcing new business opportunities and making new connections.
With all of that in mind, we’ve put together some of the main benefits of permitting social media use in the office…
Fosters a culture of trust – Being given access to social media during work hours makes staff feel like their employer trusts them and nurtures healthy colleague relationships.
A great way to attract and retain young talent – You don’t need us to tell you that young people love their social media, so enabling them to access their treasured profiles throughout the day will no doubt prove to be an attractive work perk.
A more constructive use of downtime – Staff are going to time waste and take breaks; scrolling through social media is surely more productive than standing outside with a cigarette or passing the time gossiping at the kettle.
Social media is modern day’s search engine – With improved search functionalities, social platforms are now the preferred search engine for many modern users.
Checking up on social media during the day also ensures staff stay in the loop with trending topics and breaking news which is particularly crucial for reactive marketing strategies.
Now we want to hear from you… Are you a business owner who believes access to social media would just create unnecessary distraction? Or are you an employee who agrees with the advantages we’ve outlined above? Whatever your stance, share your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @MyDigitalWirral.