Is Productivity Slowing Due to Employee Social Media Use?

Is Productivity Slowing Due to Employee Social Media Use?

Businesses have always attempted to optimize productivity for their employees in a variety of ways, but there are certain distractions that will always persist–especially in today’s incredibly connected world. One of these distractions is social media, and it creates the illusion of productivity when, in reality, it’s really not helping much.

It must be stated that there is a benefit to taking a step back from work, however, to take short breaks throughout the workday, especially in today’s remote workplace. Burnout is a very real thing, and while we are sure you want your employees to be as productive as possible, be sure to consider that they too are human beings with limits. Your bottom line is important, but so is the mental health of your employees.

Social media is effectively a window into the world for many employees, particularly in today’s remote workplace. It provides them with connections to their close friends, relatives, coworkers, and anyone else they happen to be connected with. In some cases, it is the only connection that your employees have with those they are close to, and it is perhaps one of the best and only ways for them to get in contact with them.

On the other hand, it can also be a considerable distraction that keeps employees from working their best. We all know how things can get when you get sucked into a social media feed. You check your phone for one moment, then find yourself scrolling through countless news stories, developments, posts from relatives and friends, and so on. You know the saying “going down the rabbit hole,” and this is the perfect example; you start browsing and then you can’t stop yourself.

Some of the reasons why employees might turn to social media include disengagement with their work and exhaustion from their work tasks or responsibilities. When an employee is not engaged or challenged with their work, they might find their minds wandering and getting distracted while going about their day-to-day tasks. Conversely, if they are too overwhelmed or exhausted, they might find themselves avoiding their tasks in favor of other, less strenuous tasks (like browsing social media). 

To get an idea of how much time your employees spend on social media, you can implement a monitoring solution that gives you estimates for how much time your employees spend on various websites. These types of solutions are often helpful for seeing where your employees are investing the majority of their time. However, we urge you to exercise caution when implementing these types of measures. If you do choose to implement them, you must do so in a smart way.

There are a few ways you can reinforce productive use of time throughout the workday. One of these is to implement a content filter for your network that controls access to specific websites and online content. This can be effective for stopping problematic behavior, and it can be adjusted to the individual user, but it also has a negative connotation to it. Another way you can gauge productivity is to implement a time-tracking system that keeps tabs on how much time your team is spending on various tasks. You can find out where the majority of your team is spending their time, and if it feels like time is being wasted, you can use it as an opportunity to improve operations.

North Central Technologies can help you implement the appropriate solutions for keeping track of your employees’ work habits. To learn more about some of the solutions we can help you deploy, reach out to us at 978-798-6805.

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