Even though many companies prohibit their workers from using social media during work hours as it is considered a waste of time that decreases productivity, a research conducted by the Academy of Management reveals that the truth might be the opposite.
According to the research, employees that were allowed to use Facebook during their work hours had increased productivity when compared to their co-workers for whom using social media was forbidden.
During the research, the workers were divided into three groups, where the first one was not allowed to use the internet, the second could use the internet but could not use Facebook, and the third was allowed to take 10 minutes breaks to use the internet and Facebook, according to businessnewsdaily.com.
The article indicates that workers who were allowed to use Facebook were 16 percent more productive than the group which could use the internet without access to the social media, and 40 percent more productive that the group without access to the internet.
Another research was conducted by a Professor from Warwick Business School, Joe Nandhakumar who studied how using social media might affect productivity among works of high-tech companies in the UK, Finland, and Germany according to an article presented by Forbes.
His research indicates that employees who were allowed to use various social media during work could significantly increase communication with each other, and thereby, their productivity.
“When they need to provide certain solutions to customers’ specific needs, design engineers from different locations use the social media capabilities integrated into their Enterprise Systems to interact and discuss ways of effectively configuring products,” said Professor Nandhakumar, according to Forbes.
While the first research presented by the Academy of Management focused mostly on the employees’ happiness, which eventually affected their performance at work, the research presented by Professor Nandhakumar indicates that social media can be used as effective tools in some organizations.
In regards to the happiness of workers, Dr. Brent Coker of the department of management and marketing at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, indicates that short breaks spent on surfing the internet can allow the brain to rest, and thereby, increase the levels of concentration for the rest of the day, according to the businessnewsdaily.com.
Nevertheless, using social media as an internal tool for communication within an organization may increase the productivity up to another 25 percent, according to research presented by McKinsey Global Institute.
The study points out that workers spend about 28 percent of the time on managing emails, and another 20 percent on seeking information or looking for help from their coworkers. Using social media internally might resolve the issue as the messages might become a searchable record of knowledge, which might reduce the time the workers spend on seeking for information by 35 percent.
An article presented by Forbes indicates that by 2020 social media literacy will be required by all the workers, as they will be used as internal tools in workplaces. The same article also points out that it is important to educate the workers on the use of social media before implementing its use in a workplace.
Despite all the benefits, according to businessnesdaily.com, half of all CEOs that took part in a survey confirmed that they prohibit the use of social media at work.