You would think using social media at work would cause distractions. You would also think that workplace productivity would suffer. One study shows that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Chatting, tweeting, and Skyping are usually viewed as things to do on your off-time. Maybe while you’re sitting around your house in your pajamas. But the Warwick Business School in the UK decided to challenge these views. They followed a company whose policy is open to social media usage among their employees. The results were surprising. The overall quality of customer interaction and subsequently, productivity increased significantly.
Joe Nandhakumar, professor of information systems at the business school that produced the study, says that there is a reason for this boost in efficiency. He calls it the “theory of virtual co-presence” and told BusinessWeek:
The ability to collaborate with others over long distances in relatively short, productive sessions to resolve problems or accomplish tasks.
Though many have studied the relationship between using these networking sites at work and the employees who use it, the focus was usually on how it affected collaboration among co-workers. And while Nandhakumar realized that companies ban the use of these outlets due to concern over possible hacking or other security breaches, the results remain the same:
In most cases, the social media-enabled workforce was able to accomplish more sales- and customer-relations-related tasks and did so more quickly, the researchers observed.
So should your company adopt this new thought process? Would it be better to allow your employees free reign while online? Maybe, maybe not. We have gone over how this could help by improving worker productivity and our Indianapolis speakers agreed. The only way you’ll truly be able to answer that question is if you try to give your employees a little more room to explore and some trust. For more information on ways to implement new processes in your company, contact our business consultants here at AccelaWork!