Tech Tip: Is Social Media Causing Productivity to Drop?


Productivity plays an important role in the business environment, but no employee is productive 100 percent of the time. No matter how disciplined an employee is, they will eventually succumb to the black hole that is social media.

How can you keep your employees from wasting too much time on social media while also acknowledging that they too are human beings in need of breaks every now and then? What strikes a good balance?

Sometimes it helps to take a step back from work and take a short break to recharge the batteries, so to speak. Today’s remote workplace makes this even more important, as burnout is incredibly prevalent.

While your business’s productivity and profitability are certainly valuable, it’s also important to remember that your employees are human —  not machines — and they need breaks frequently in order to keep their physical and mental health in check.

The Positive Side of Social Media

One way employees can get a much-needed break is to dive into social media, which can effectively be described as a bridge between your employees and the outside world. Depending on the platform, social media can provide a connection with close friends, relatives, coworkers, colleagues, and so much more. In some cases, it might be the only way for someone to stay in touch with their loved ones.

On the Other Hand…

All that said, it’s also important to remember that social media can be a major distraction, despite your employees’ best intentions. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole that is your social media feed. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know you’re laughing at TikTok highlights, watching Instagram Reels or sharing funny memes with your friends. Sometimes it’s just too much to handle, and it can pull employees away from their responsibilities if left unchecked.

Some Options

To prevent social media from creating problems for your business, consider the reasons why your employees might use social media. Perhaps they’re feeling disengaged with the task at hand, or they’re not feeling challenged enough. Sometimes they might feel overwhelmed, too, or the tasks they are working on are just too strenuous or stressful to think about. They might use social media as an escape outlet.

If you want to find out just how much time your employees are spending on social media, a monitoring solution can help by providing you with time spent on various websites. It’s a great way to determine how your employees are spending their time. However, there is a fine line between implementing a monitoring solution for the right reasons and implementing one for intrusive reasons.

You can instead opt to use other methods to help reinforce productive use of time throughout the workday. One way you can do this is by providing your staff with tasks that are challenging and rewarding for them to complete, tasks which are often aligned with their own goals and aspirations. You can also implement a content filter to keep problem employees on task while allowing those who get their work done in a timely manner the freedom to spend their time as they wish. A time tracking system is also helpful in this way, as you can determine how your employees are working and what tasks monopolize their time.

If you want some help with implementing the best solutions for your specific needs, Computerware can help. To learn more, call Computerware today at (703) 821-8200 or go to: https://www.cwit.com/blog.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.

 

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