Do social networks affect productivity?

As you read this article, a good number of your employees are heavily hooked on My Space, Twitter, Facebook or other social networking websites. There are several sites that use software to build online communities of people to interact via chat, messaging, videos, file sharing and blogs.

As you read this article, a good number of your employees are heavily hooked on My Space, Twitter, Facebook or other social networking websites.

There are several sites that use software to build online communities of people to interact via chat, messaging, videos, file sharing and blogs.

But how do these activities affect or improve productivity at work places?

It’s a well known fact that in this era, thousands of employees wastes time updating their statuses, comment on their friends’ photos every minute.

The productivity losses resulting from these diversions are only beginning to be measured. For example, a reporter with BBC reveals in his recent study that social networking could be costing UK employers an average of about ₤130 million in lost productivity-per day!

“There is a no doubt, social networking makes worker less productive. Anyone who has at least dabbled in social networking can understand how addictive it is.

A simple exchange can suddenly turn into a day-long interaction. Many employees choose to do their social networking at work.” Says Joseph Kamanzi MTN employee

But according to another study, employees who use the internet for fun at work are about 9% more productive than those who don’t.

The study has suggested that Facebook, Twitter and the rest of their likes can actually improve office productivity.

Wasting your time online can actually make you more productive in the office. If you’re asking how, the study states that workplace Internet leisure browsing helps boost concentration and allows employees to focus better.

Although it is believed that a short and unobtrusive break, such as quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest. However, this doesn’t include internet addicts who spend just about all their time watching videos, or using social networks.

“When it comes to social networks, it’s hard to find the motivation to get back to work because there are more interesting things to be done online.” Said, Mr. Gaga Joseph MD Default Rwanda.

He adds that initially one goes online with good intentions.  For example, you may need to do some research for your latest assignment. But you tend to get caught up in the various emails and forwarding them to your friends.

Browsing from one random site to the other without really doing anything is also distracting. Before you know it, you’ve lost track of time.

It is interesting to note that many IT companies have tried to take counter measure to curtail the use of such sites in companies although it’s still difficult.

If employees spend countless hours on these social networks, they need to be sensitizing and be reminder of their responsibilities.

Browsing the Web for leisure could be a welcome break that may rejuvenate you but this can be achieved only if you are aware that if you over do it.

 It  become an addiction and that you must have the determination to stick to your time limit and get back to work once you’re done taking a break.

Now you can see how social networks could become detrimental or beneficial to office productivity

martin.bishop18@yahoo.com

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