Does your employer allow you to access your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking profiles at work? Is access to the outside world blocked? One of the most debated about workplace topics is does allowing access to social networking decrease the productivity of your workplace. Some would argue that if employees were able to access their Facebook or Youtube accounts that they would spend the entire day surfing the Internet.
If they were a good hire, chances are they’ll occasionally check their accounts and use it as a brief diversion from their productive task. It is no longer relevant to say, “I’m paying them to work, thus I want them to work their full shift without interruptions.” Companies are stuck in the past if they continue to adopt this mentality. Social networking is now a crucial component of communication and is not about to disappear any time soon. Why, then, should all businesses refrain from prohibiting their employees from using social networking sites? Easy.
Transparency creates better business.
Who wants to work for or with a company who isn’t transparent in all they do? Allowing your workers to use social networks can not only be good for business, but allows workers a break in their day. As a small business it’s important that a new client knows who you are and how you act around others by viewing your social networking. If you’ve privatized your Facebook then they aren’t able to see what type of person you’re like. Transparency in everything you do puts clients as ease and allowing the use of social networking at work, allows workers to build social capital that could end up helping your business.
Creating a network increases your business’s bottom line.
Networking is and always will be one of the most important aspects of building a successful business. You want your employees to network and a majority of that will be done building social capital online. If your employees are fans of networking they will use Facebook and Twitter for the benefit of the company instead of to simply look at baby pictures (because let’s face it, Facebook is saturated with pictures of babies…and cats!).
Social networking effects morale in the workplace.
Allowing social networking at work could be advantageous for your business, and it will always hurt your reputation if people associate you with blocking social networking sites. In this digital age, news disseminates quickly. A bad employer is one who does not respect social networking for both professional goals and as a method to break up the workday. People prefer to work for organizations that are fun to be a part of. A company’s decision to let social networking sites won’t have a negative impact on productivity. Productivity seems to rule when morale is strong, but when morale is low, people get complacent, which gives rise to a whole other set of problems.
When the first Facebook profile opened back in the early 2000s—employers had no idea what it would sprout into. The debate around opening social networking at work isn’t a battle that will be won by an easy list of persuasion techniques, but statistics on workplace productivity. The Harvard Business Review projected last year that social media could increase worker productivity by as much as 20-25%. Not only that, but for the reasons listed above, social media needs to stay in the workplace. If you’re company is looking for cheap and effective ways to increase your bottom line, here it is!
Yay or Nay on Social Media in the Workplace?
Have you found social media in the workplace to be an effective way to retain top talent? What are your thoughts on employers blocking social networking sites?