There is no doubt that social media has impacted everyone’s personal life. We post on Facebook what we’re doing this weekend or how a recipe on Pinterest turned out and we’re tweeting our political opinions and television viewing preferences. If we’ve done it, hope to do it or plan to do it, we’ve posted it.
But how has social media impacted our workplace today? Are we more aware and more productive or have we become less productive? If we didn’t have social media, what would we do with our time that we spend on social media?
Recently, People-On-The-Go’s founder, Pierre Khawand released the results of a 200 page study that incorporated 1000 professionals from the business segment. These people all have more than one “inbox” which also included their social media accounts.
What was found from this study really wasn’t surprising: The use of social media is increasing. Also not surprising, social media has become a standard part of their work day routine, even senior executives. They each have a little different level of priority, most using LinkedIn over Facebook & Twitter.
Of those in the study, it was found that the following regularly checked their LinkedIn account :
- Over 60% of top management
- Over 70% of marketing professionals
- Over 70% of sales professionals
And while it is commonly known that Gen Y's are heavy users of social media, these findings are proof that social media has become an increasingly regular networking part of business for these individuals.
How Half The Workday Is Spent
Employees that were surveyed for this study found that most are spending as much as half their working hours (approximately 4 hours) managing their “inboxes." Those in the Gen Y group are spending almost 2 hours of their workday on social media a day, with over eighty-percent of them regularly checking their Facebook page for personal reasons. And less than 7% of those who participated in the study said they check their social media account for work.
What is suggested by this study is that that social media like Facebook have knocked down the wall between what is considered business and personal. And in many instances, intermingling has further intensified this issue.
Is Productivity Threatened By Social Media
What this study may have also uncovered, although many have suspected it all along, the regular checking of the various inboxes like email, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. is the constant interruption to the workday.
Research has found that multitasking does reduce a person’s productivity and that a task can take almost 3 times as long to be completed. What’s more, the increase in errors is at a higher rate as well. These are all good reasons to substantiate a company blocking their employees from being able to access social media while at work.
But is that biting off your own nose to spite your face? After all, any marketing professional today will tell you that social media offers a host of benefits to a company and creates customer relationships. In many ways, the interaction of social media is a necessity today.