We all have one in the office, the person who likes every post, retweets every article and seems to spend their day being a social media butterfly instead of focusing on their job. You might wonder why the boss keeps this person around, but the answer is actually pretty simple, they’re probably one of the most productive people in the office.
Ever since its transition from college campuses to workplaces and cubicles everywhere, Facebook has been viewed as nothing but a huge timewaster for employers. The Huffington Post had it ranked as the #1 website blocked by employers in 2010 with one simple goal in mind; increase productivity. However, a recent article by Forbes cites two separate studies that show that being on social media actually greatly improves employee productivity and performance. In fact, productivity rose by nearly 35% when an employee used 5 or more social networks in a day. Can you imagine raising your office’s productivity by 35%? Most managers would be decorating their new corner offices if they ever achieved those results.
When I heard about these results, I assumed it was a classic case of correlation not necessarily proving causation. I’ll explain; I figured that white-collar jobs that didn’t block sites like Facebook simply had more employees that took ownership of their positions and therefore always put work above social networking. Basically, if you took away social media across the board, the same group would still be more productive.
Evolv, one of the primary researchers for the Forbes article, focused on hourly workers in the U.S., such as call center staff. Those who regularly used more than five social networks demonstrated higher sales in less time than their colleagues. So blue-collar or white-collar, social media makes your office more productive. But why?
Regardless of your position at a company, a constant need for businesses is the ability to gather and use information. And where can someone find more information than ever before? Social media. Whether it’s learning about new tricks and tools in your industry, finding information on clients, or simply being connected with current events in the news, social media makes your employees more in tune with the world around them.
Instead of searching through articles that may be months old for industry information, employees can get the up-to-the-minute info served directly to their news feed. If they want to see a demonstration about a product or service for a client, they can just watch a YouTube video. They can also find and communicate with customers and other professionals more quickly and easily through platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
So maybe the social media fight shouldn’t be how to keep your people off of it, but how to get them to use it more effectively. Social media is here to stay and is being incorporated into businesses more everyday. Isn’t it time you stopped fighting and started posting, tweeting, blogging, favoriting, liking and …well, you get the idea.