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The Upside of Social Media in the Workplace

Social media gets a lot of flak for hindering productivity in the workplace—and with good reason. Time spent on social media is, simply put, time spent not working. But here's the thing: social media pervades almost every aspect of our lives. If you ban staff members from using social media at work, you could end up with some seriously resentful employees on your hands.

If your staff members are banned from accessing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube through their company-provided computers, they're going to find other ways to get to these sites (ie. smartphones). After all, hasn't it been proven time and time again that oppression leads to rebellion?

The desire to use social media in the workplace isn't just about personal pleasure; it's also a matter of sanity. Nobody can work for eight hours straight—productively, that is. Multiple recent studies show that businesses that encourage the use of social media in the workplace have a higher work output than those who forbid it. Taking a five or 10 minute break in between work tasks to aimlessly peruse your favourite social media site can do wonders for your productivity level.

When used properly, social networking sites can be an effective business tool. Encouraging staff members to participate in your organization's online social networking efforts is a great way to attract new followers and keep the conversation going—not to mention, it allows your employees to contribute to your company's growth while indulging in a healthy dose of social media activity.

I'm not saying you should allow your employees to use social media without restraint. It's important to lay out in a social media policy regarding what is appropriate and not appropriate activity for your employees to engage in, both inside the workplace and out (if they're identifying themselves as representatives of your organization).

It might be scary at first, but allowing your employees to use social media in the workplace will boost morale, increase productivity and could even help grow your business. At IMP Canada, we know a thing or two about engaging in social media activity in the workplace. Contact us for more tips and advice on how to use social media for business.

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