How bad is social media for workplace productivity?

Social media can waste time faster than you can say 'hashtag', but is it really as bad for productivity as you think?



Is Facebook really a big distraction in the workplace? It may not be so with the results of a recent study, showing that employees who use social media are more likely to be the most productive workers.

New data on the workplace by Evolv, a startup that monitors hundreds of metrics from Fortune 500 companies, revealed that social media should not be considered the the bane of employee productivity. Rather, the more social networks an employee uses, the more productive they are.

In the study it was found that employees who regularly used up to four social networks — such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn — made more sales or handled customer service calls faster than those who weren't on any social networks. Those who used five social networks or more were slightly better at converting sales and handling customer service than employees on four or fewer networks, by 1.5% and 2.8% respectively, Mashable reported.

In addtition to improved productivity, employees in the social media camp also had a longer tenure. The employees who used four social networks stayed at the company longer, (an average 94 days of tenure with a company compared to 83 days for those who shunned social media). For those who used five social networks, their average tenure was slightly lower at 92 days.

However, there isn't likely to be a mad rush towards letting employees use social media networks, Evolv concludes, as the increases in productivity and tenure may also be a reflection of the employee's computer literacy and sociability, and therefore greater ability to provide better service and handle customers better.

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