Think twice about creating a social media ban in the workplace

From construction workers and nurses to employees who work in an office, the majority of the American workforce is now connected to social media and the online world through their smartphones and mobile devices. While many employers have strict policies against personal calls and Internet browsing on the job, allowing workers to go on social sites throughout the day may make them more productive and increase engagement. Three recent surveys all found social media use in the workplace not only benefits employees, but creates a more efficient workforce overall.

Social media enhances performance
According to Inc. magazine, a study by data analytics firm Evolv found workers who participate in many social media sites are more technically savvy, are more productive and stay at their positions longer than their counterparts who do not engage in social media. The study concluded employees who are active on social media may be their companies’ top performers.

Yet, not only are users of social networking sites submitting stronger work, but allowing them to connect online while at work may have tangible benefits. Another study from Ipsos and Microsoft found 46% of the approximately 10,000 surveyed employees felt their performance improved once they were able to look at social sites while at work. In fact, 37% reported they may be able to do their tasks more efficiently if their employers allowed them to use additional social tools.

According to Business Management Daily, a survey by Statista, a market research site, and Mashable, a social media news site, found employers may be inhibiting their workers’ productivity and alienating their employees by putting a ban on social media in the workplace. According to the survey, one in five workers are stopped from accessing online networking sites by their employers. Business Management Daily suggested employers rethink their social media bans, because all workers have to do is take out their personal smartphones or tablets to connect to their online communities.

These three studies concluded that allowing workers to use social media while they are on the job may benefit their productivity. While job satisfaction and retention may increase as well, employers may want to understand that simply giving workers a social media break can improve their workplace performances. For employees in construction, healthcare and other high-risk industries, allowing workers to take a mental break from their responsibilities once or twice a day may make a difference.

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