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.

Times they are a changing…. But I’m still for the ol’ school

Ok ok so there is currently a lot I’m reading about the positivity of ‘presence bleed’. One could describe it as the ability to multi-task, completing numerous jobs in less time, being time efficient and resourceful and so on. I will concede that I agree it’s important to be able to compete in todays workplace, that one needs a degree of this to compete, and also that it is a completely inevitable progression in this day and age………But, I would hate to see the days of face to face interviews, work socialising, client lunch meetings etc etc give way to half of the work force doing everything from home simply because it is more time efficient.

 

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I fear the robotic world we see in the movies. Where we become machines typing data just like everyone else and never leaving our homes to chat and have a coffee with workmates, build quality relationships, and be a genuine part of the everyday lives of each other. As much as I dread it, I accept it. So much of it is positive for our lives but I like to hope that there is a limit on such developments.

 

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Unfortunately what I see as the driving force behind it all is competition. It will inevitably be the companies that utilize these features of time-efficiency of the future and hire workers willing to be ‘everywhere always’, that are most successful. If you are not going accept that you need to be contactable or be able to contact 24 hours a day, soon there may be no work for you…

 

I just hope the ‘human’ side of work will remain and prosper, not completely giving way to the digitalization of the entire world. I think companies that have a positive combination of healthy social interactions as well as the efficiency of new media and evolving technology will have high staff retention, happier workers and, I think, better output overall.