Social media at work: Time wasting or efficient networking?

I previously hadn’t thought of there being much of a link between work and social media. Perhaps scrolling past someone on Facebook complaining about the length of the working day or thanking G or F that it is Friday. Only recently have I been hearing and reading that a large number of companies are utilizing social networking into their everyday employee operations.

 

I certainly see the benefits of social media at work; enhancing client network, advertising opportunities, time efficiency, increased communication. But, I would almost guarantee that it is not being used in this way by the majority of users today. Right now someone is at work wasting time on Facebook or Twitter when they could be working!

 

I speak from experience, I was with a company when I was much younger and got to the point where I could complete my work early in the day and comfortably browse Ebay or check Myspace (it was a long time ago) and plod along with day to day jobs. Was I looking for ways to increase a customer’s service and overall satisfaction for the good of my employer? Nope. I could’ve been doing any number of much more productive tasks. (Future potential employers: Be advised, this is no reflection of my current work ethic!).

 

There is obviously a lot to be said, as I’ve touched on, for the way social networks can be incorporated by companies and businesses. As I have recently learned, Google has certain policies allowing their employees free time to work on personal social networking or other extracurricular ventures.

 

When the modern workplace catches up with social networking, I believe it could make way for some extremely exciting and interactive possibilities, transforming the way we view our work. Finding a balance between social media used in the workplace and maximum worker efficiency still has some way to come.

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4 thoughts on “Social media at work: Time wasting or efficient networking?

  1. At the moment social media in the work place is a bit of a double-edged sword. It is certainly a distraction for some (if not) most people having Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc available to us on a number of different platform throughout the day, however, being able to utilize these platforms in order to reach a wider audience for free is a huge advantage for both large and small companies. Although I can see both sides of the spectrum I have a feeling that the two will never coincide. That distraction and productivity will always be at war for whenever new technologies arise people can always find positive and negative uses for them.

  2. It’s kind of the downside of the perks that social media can bring. Businesses can use it to get marketing information and extend their sphere of influence, but then they definitely have to accept that their employees are all connected as a part of this wider market as well. I read some arguments that accessing social media sites during work as a way of refreshing and resting the mind briefly and periodically. I know when I’m doing uni stuff, it does sometimes help to click off and check Facebook occasionally. It just depends on the limit people are doing it. Good post

  3. I agree completely in the importance of balancing your online life and work life – I very guilty of not being able to do this.

    I find it interesting however that you think companies implementing social media may be harmful to their workload as the would procrastinate – I have never really viewed it that way. The way I see it is, ideally these companies want others (not necessarily their employees) to procrastinate on social media so they can advertise their product/service to them at more times of the day, and they employee people specifically to do so.

    One small issue that I have with this form of online marketing is that it not only feels slightly invasive, but it’s just too cheesy, it’s rare to find a Twitter account from a company that is worth interacting with, I think if they were to employ more exciting individuals in these roles their successes would be a plenty.

  4. Interesting take on it Seb. It’s funny how many corporations use facebook and twitter to reach their consumer’s but only to have it backfire on them. Companies having their facebook pages covered in customer complaints have forced many companies to refrain from using it and restricting their employee’s from referencing working for the company.

    Here is a blog that briefly talks about the damage that facebook can have to a coorporatiion.

    http://lonelybrand.com/blog/the-right-and-wrong-way-to-respond-to-customer-complaints-on-facebook/

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