This debate is nothing new. We can’t deny the fact that in today’s world, social media (which constantly requires internet connectivity) is a huge part of people’s everyday lives. A BusinessTech report indicated that South Africans spend more time using social media platforms than the global average, recording the average time spent at 2 hours and 48 minutes each day. While there are cons to using social media in the workplace, there are some great benefits too. Here are five reasons why you should be allowing your employees to use social media during work hours.
Social media opens up communication
Allowing your staff to use social media is great for opening up opportunities for internal communication across your company, especially if you have offices in different locations or employees who have the opportunity to work remotely. Giving your staff the opportunity to communicate with each other via social media actually provides another avenue for them to get to know each other and foster good relationships. Everyone in your team becomes easy to contact, and thus using social media not only facilitates teamwork and employee engagement, but makes your employees feel like part of a community. This makes people a lot happier and encourages loyalty to your company.
Allows workers to take a mental break
A survey conducted in the US revealed that while employees turn to social media for various reasons at the workplace, taking a mental break was among the most common. Taking an occasional mental break from work is something that should be encouraged in the workplace. While several companies already encourage their workers to take brief, periodic, breaks during their working hours, allowing employees to be on social media simplifies these breaks. Instead of going to the entertainment area or interrupting another employee’s work to chat to them, social media, when used responsibly, can give your employees the quick mental breaks they need throughout the day.
Employees can make professional connections
Being present on social media — especially on a platform like LinkedIn — can give your employees an opportunity to build and strengthen professional relationships with people in the industry. And these professional relationships can result in opportunities that would otherwise not have been possible to attain. Social media is also a great avenue for clients and potential clients — it’s a great tool for branding. If your employees publicly display their wonderful company culture, and interact with industry professionals on a personal level – people will be attracted to them and your brand.
Recognising employee accomplishments
Social media is an effective tool for improving employee recognition and retention. You can use social media to give recognition to work anniversaries, great employee performance and new hires, for example. Social media has the power to improve overall employee morale. Employees who feel valued and recognised, will interact more with each other, are more engaged with their company and are less likely to leave the business.
It is a great recruitment tool
By encouraging your staff to share vacancies on social media you broaden your potential reach. Social media recruitment is not only a great way to attract the candidates you want in your business, but it also minimises recruiting costs. Your HR team can easily build a talent pool of candidates that it can draw on, rather than having to approach expensive agencies.
So there you have it, social media is not necessarily a negative thing for the workplace at all, but it can actually make your colleagues even more productive. The verdict is yours.