According to Monster.com, more than half of employers in the United States block social media access on their employees’ computers. The main reason employers do this is fear of lost productivity due to their employees spending work time visiting social media sites. However, since any employee with a smart phone can just as easily visit these sites while on the clock, is this really helping? If you are currently blocking social media sites on your business’s computers, you might want to consider some of the potential benefits that can arise from social media use.
First, your worst fear may actually be unjustified, as social media use at work actually has the potential to increase productivity. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have found that employees with social media access are 9 percent more productive than those without it. According to their study, the ability to reward yourself by accessing social media briefly between assigned work tasks reinvigorates an employee for their next assignment and improves the quality of their overall performance.
Next, social media is an excellent way for you to market your company and its products through free advertising. In order to tap into this resource, you need to allow access, and you also want to find employees who are highly familiar with how to use these sites. Furthermore, social media use can help your company stay on the pulse on your intended customer demographic. If you are unsure if a new product or service would be popular, a quick Facebook poll will give you an idea quickly.
Finally, social media use facilitates networking and collaboration. It is a good thing for your employees to be in communication with others in their same line of work, as it helps them to learn, grow, and ultimately be much better at their jobs.