Thanks to Nate Miller for contributing this post to CSD.
If most of the day is spent on the computer, many workers often sneak away from their official duties at least a few times a day to check up on the action on their personal social media accounts. Many businesses frown on this type of “time wasting” and some even block the most popular sites like Facebook or Twitter from work computers to try and prevent employees from signing on. What most business owners don’t understand is that allowing employees to access social media during the workday can actually benefit both their workers and the overall productivity of their company. To see these benefits, it is important to have a clear and structured social media policy in your workplace that allows for employees to let off some steam and for your company to garner a bit of positive attention. How can you make use of the benefits of social media in the workplace?
1. Employees appreciate small breaks
No company wants to see their employees ignoring their work for any amount of time during the day. Allowing your workers to disconnect from the stress of work for small intervals throughout the day, however, can actually increase individual productivity by giving your employees the chance to disconnect from their stressful jobs and clear their minds. Even just a five minute social media break can refresh their minds and prepare them to pick up their work with a renewed feeling of energy and a clearer perspective. Even better, allowing short social media breaks is a much faster relief than the typical “cigarette break” that lasts at least fifteen minutes and usually involves actually leaving the desk or office for a bit. Who knew social media could be so helpful?
2. Social Media is a great PR tool
Although you are hopefully already taking advantage of the great options for expanding and securing your customer base through social media as a part of your PR and marketing strategies, letting your employees discuss their jobs and workplaces in social media can be another great way to build your network and increase your visibility in the sector. If your employees are happy, they are probably some of your company’s biggest fans. Their commentary will introduce their friends to your business and potentially garner more clients. If you would like to explore this option, it’s a good idea to set up clear rules of what should be posted or discussed so as to avoid any potential conflicts of confidentiality or content.
3. Take advantage of a limitless pool of knowledge
If your employees are using the right type of social media, they can use their contacts to ask for expert advice on areas that are not in their fields of knowledge. Social networking websites like LinkedIn are well known for this type of knowledge sharing and network building. This can be an incredible tool for bringing in new and creative solutions to your company in addition to expanding the networks of both your employees and your company. And let’s not forget about smartphones and apps, either: applications such as those using VoIP technology (Viber, Whatsapp, etc) are also great tools for employees to access knowledge of their social networks. The possibilities for productive use of social media are endless if taken advantage of in a smart way.
Have some faith in your employees and allow them to take small social media breaks when they need them. You will have a more relaxed and refreshed workforce that appreciates your respect for their freedom. In addition, if you create a well-structured policy for social media posting, you can also take advantage of their social media addiction by allowing them to post on behalf of your company and its products or services. Kill two birds with one stone by allowing social media at your workplace.
About Nate Miller
Nate Miller is a part-time guest-blogger. His main interests are Social Media and Business, with a recent focus on Technology. He is constantly extending his fields of interest to incorporate news suggested to him by his readers. If you like his writing, make sure to follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.