Tweeting. Skyping. Chatting. With the development of social media tools, the landscape of the workplace is changing. But at what cost? Do social media tools—like Twitter and Skype—help or harm the workplace?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, most businesses come down on the harm side of the equation. Accordingly, many companies are reluctant to allow their employees to freely use social media during work hours. But what if those tools increase productivity? The results of a recent survey suggest that social media can be a boon to the workplace.
Ipsos and Microsoft surveyed almost 10,000 information workers across 30+ countries and the results were startling. As many as 46% of respondents said that their productivity increased greatly or somewhat due to social media tools. And 40% believe that social tools have resulted in more collaboration at their workplace.
And amazingly, according to a recent report, knowledge workers spend a whopping 15%-35% of a typical day just searching for the right information. To reduce this problem, Unisys launched a site that allows employees to locate experts within the organization by creating profiles and hashtags. This enables employees to search out others with a specific skillset or who are looking to collaborate on specific topics.
While there are disadvantages to social media—namely, productivity and security concerns—one obvious benefit is that it eases employee collaboration. So, before ruling it out unilaterally at your organization, it may be worth it to do some homework and consider whether social media tools will enhance productivity.
It just may be that social media will help your workplace, rather than harm it.