Social media at work: Does it help or hurt productivity?

Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. LinkedIn. In just a few years time, social media has become a part of almost everyone’s world. With so many people using computers at work, social media is also firmly entrenched in the workplace.

We’ve all seen them. The co-worker who seems to spend most of the day checking out his Facebook page or the underling who has traded her Solitaire-playing time for hours spent tweeting about playing solitaire.

Using social media also has entered the work part of the work day for some people. Increasing the number of “followers,” “friends,” “fans” and “likes” is now part of some job descriptions.

There’s a debate going on about the effect of social media on worker productivity. Some say it steals too much time from the job at hand during work hours. Others say the quick mental break helps workers refocus so they get on with their tasks.

Do you log in to Facebook or Twitter at work? Does it lower productivity or does it help you get through the day? Where do you stand on the issue? How about your employer? Come on, you can tell us. We won’t tweet about it.

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4 comments Add your comment

Shawna

October 6th, 2010
1:03 pm

Social Networking at work is more of a curse than a blessing. If used sparingly it can be a welcome distraction from the monotony of some jobs. However, the problem begins when people start checking in every few minutes. A lot of social networking is an ongoing conversation or an ongoing thought process-it’s like the hiccup that won’t go away. You tweet or comment about something, start working again, and then have another “ingenious” (sarcasm intended) thought about yourself or the world that you just HAVE to tweet about. Or better yet notifications pop up and you must see what’s happening so you cease doing your work again just to check on things.

Yes, it definitely does decrease productivity. Yet, i don’t think it’s a complete no no in the workplace. There’s a balancing act going on here. If people can check whatever site they use 2-3 times a day for a short time then it’s okay. That increases employee happiness which contributes to productivity. But employees should not get so wrapped up in social networking at work that they miss the real networking opportunities on the job and/or they end up being a lazy worker. Let’s not get so lost in virtual reality that we forget about face to face interaction and our real world with our very real responsibilities.

Bottom line:balance

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judge judy

October 11th, 2010
5:57 am

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judge judy

October 11th, 2010
6:05 am

Fortunately, it is blocked where I work. It definitely reduces work productivity. i doubt that people can find the “balance” mentioned earlier. Besides work is not the place to continually tell deep thoughts or what is happening at the time. Attention should be given to the job bottomline.