How Social Media Actually Improves Your Productivity At Work

how social media improves work productivityTweet it. Update your status. Blog it. Add it to your LinkedIn status. Like it. Tag it. Post it. Comment on it. Retweet it. Upload it. Subscribe to it. Anyone who keeps up with the influx of social media permeation in every aspect of society will immediately recognize most or all of these terms. Without a doubt, the multitudes of social media platforms have gained substantial ground in our world: ground that, most likely, will not be relinquished any time soon. A bigger question, then, has arisen: with employees surrounded by thousands of ways to keep in touch with the outside world while working, are productivity levels doomed to slide into Twitter oblivion? Actually, social media is having a surprisingly opposite effect on work productivity. Social media is improving work productivity.

Multitasking Practice

Without a doubt, the “Twitter Generation” has excellent practice at the art of multitasking. While adults in their 40’s or 50’s can easily manage three to five tasks at once, the teens and twenty-somethings are effectively managing between ten and twenty tasks and interactions at any given moment. The difference is staggering. Young adults’ involvement with social media has required them to develop astounding multitasking abilities. Monitoring Twitter updates, replying quickly to a Facebook message, checking blogs, and sending email is all managed simultaneously. The young adult is able to compartmentalize these different outlets, managing several tasks at once – an ability translates well to the workplace. Younger adults can handle a variety of tasks and a greater workload, increasing productivity.

The Mental Break

Scientists now believe that a reasonable escape into the world of social media may be providing young workers with a healthy, productivity-increasing mental break. When workers remove themselves from the task at hand for two minutes every hour, their focus on work projects does not wane over time. Creativity, efficiency and intellectual focus, instead of fading toward the end of a work day, are preserved throughout the day. This yields more productive employees.

Communication Brevity

In the Twitter world, “tweets” are limited to a mere 160 characters. Blog posts are most often read when they are clear and concise. Texts must be fast to be effective. Emails are short and to the point. The younger generation is learning, with remarkable adeptness, how to be brief and efficient in their communication. Gone are the days of sending time-consuming company memos or planning a monthly, time-wasting office meeting. Instead, employees are offering a constant stream of micro-communication which saves time and energy. Additionally, the WPM, or words per minute, rate of typing in social media users is much higher.

Networking

The desktop rolodex is a thing of the past. Workers today are widening their contact range and increasing their networks with the use of social media. Access to the world is literally at their fingertips as they form contacts, increase their client base, and access names and numbers with efficiency. There is arguably no better tool for increasing productivity-boosting contacts than the social media platforms available today.

Trends and Topics

Social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter, are excellent ways for employees to discover what topics are “trending” at any given time. Trending refers to a process where a certain name, product, event or story is accessed by large numbers of individuals within a relatively short time frame. By identifying current trends, employees ensure that their work is up-to-date and applicable. Marketing strategies are greatly improved by accessing and utilizing current trends. Social media users know what is working, what is popular, and what will sell.

The New Business Model

Consumers who watch television, read magazines, notice billboards or receive mail will notice that the business model is almost universally changing. Business is adapting to include the use of social media, a form of advertising and business conduct that is free, efficient and widespread. Transactions are taking place entirely within the realm of a social media platform; advertisers are using Twitter and Facebook to sell products; companies are boasting Facebook and Twitter accounts where they post information, deals and products. Employees who know the world of social media can pull their companies into the future, increasing the productivity of the entire company.

Fingertip Information

Perhaps the most incontrovertible benefit to the use of social media in the workplace is the wealth of information and resources that these platforms provide. Information, whether financial, social or historical can be accessed instantly and easily with the help of a social media network. Employees will no longer waste time seeking information down fruitless avenues. Social media users know exactly where to get the needed information.

In Conclusion

Many employers are panicking, worrying that their employees are wasting company time checking Facebook and updating Twitter. The truth, however, is that social media can actually improve work productivity when used wisely and efficiently.

Today’s guest post comes from James Adams, a writer at Cartridge Save who analyses the latest developments in Kodak supplies technology. James also posts regularly on other blogs where he writes about ads, design and gadgets.

photo credit: moria

  • The multi-tasking part, I totally disagree with it.
    In fact, I believe multi-tasking actually makes you a worse worker. It’s not just my personal experience (and that of people around me), there are actually studies backing this up.
    I would love to know your view on it.

    • Moldo

      Multitasking is for computers. Complete and throughly done work is for employees. Concentration for humans takes time.
      The result of this kind of multitasking is that a person gets trained to not being able to do anything for longer than the time between two tweets and one facebook update.

      Instead, if you concentrate on work and then at some point you concentrate for 30-60 mins on social media daily – you do both of them in a useful way.

      These frequent interruptions – it’s got to have a negative impact on people’s minds. Computers stop thinking about a task once it’s over. Human brain continues to think about it and the number of likes or retweets while they should be thinking only about the task at work once Social media posting is over.

      • The frequent interruptions can be difficult depending upon what they are. The email alert, the twitter constant alerts are good when we have to respond quickly however when time is not of the essence, we never seem to get much accomplished when we are going back and forth. Multi-tasking is good when we need to be focusing on many things however when we are not pressed for time multi-tasking is not always the best use of our time.

  • Gabriele

    When I was preparing this from what James had sent to me, I was iffy on that part as well. I think that there are instances where you can multi-task but it depends upon what you are doing. I think that SM does require focusing and if we are multi-tasking, then we are not focusing the way that we probably should be.

    I am multi-tasking right now as I am caring for my son, writing this comment and waiting for something to open up so I can read it. I agree with the video link you attached as yes when we are shifting gfrom item to item we are not allowing our brain to absorb and retain the information which leads to the memory issues that was spoken about. We are not giving the brain a chance to process anything in the minute or 2 that we are switching over and over. The 15 min that he speaks of challenges us to force us to slow down and create time increments to allow the brain to absorb the information from the email or whichever the 15 min block of work we are completing. Behaviorally, creating patterns will lead to memory as our brain is able to process this type of information which we have seen in children when learning how to read write. It is the same basic fundamental however many times we are multi-tasking (as I am now) but they are different things entirely and I am not switching window to window.

    Excellent comment Gabriele. I appreciate that as the multi-tasking needed to be flushed out and include a bit of my view which the post did not have.

    @SuzanneVara

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  • “In the Twitter world, “tweets” are limited to a mere 160 characters”

    Tweets are limited to 140 characters. SMS messages are limited to 160.

  • Social media network can be very helpful depending on how you use it. Knowing its secret can make it useful for your site, brings more visitor thus generate sales. But if you do not know how to utilize it properly, don’t start unless you want your site penalized.

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  • I read somewhere that it takes the average person 15 minutes to get fully engaged in a task once started. If a disruption arises or she tries to do several things at once, it is impossible to truly focus in on the task at hand. The lesson is simple – multitasking is not realistic. BUT that is much different than taking a break.

    I love what you have to say about this. Taking a break every so often is absolutely critical to staying fresh and maxing out your creative abilities.

    Thanks for sharing!

    @jwsokol