How Social Media Actually Boosts Efficiency in an Office Environment

Employees who take quick breaks can decrease stress and increase morale

Maybe it would be better if she didn't have to sneak it in
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With more than 71 percent of businesses now advertising on social platforms, it’s safe to say that social media isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. However, in an office environment, are these methods of communication and interaction beneficial or not?

Many believe social media negatively impacts workplace performance and productivity (with businesses often banning the use of these platforms). However, there’s lots of evidence to the contrary: Social media actually benefits companies and the people in them more than it hurts them.

Here are five ways that social media can boost efficiency in an office environment and reasons why you should not only allow it, but maybe even encourage employees to use it:

Research and networking

If one person can’t answer a question, social platforms let people reach out to their network of colleagues and friends to find someone who can.

If a business has a website, it often has a blog and ways for clients and customers to contact them online. With social media, research can be done in a pinch, and a business can easily find topics for blog posts and ways to boost interaction with customers, and even get feedback.

Social media has also irrevocably changed job searching. Many employers now primarily use sites like LinkedIn to find candidates to fill new positions or to expand their teams of interns or volunteers.

In fact, 79 percent of people in the U.S. are likely to use social media during their job searches. Gone are the days of putting an ad in the paper or a bulletin board.

Feedback and problem solving

No more waiting for IT to fix an issue you can’t figure it out quickly. Getting feedback is easier with social media applications that allow instant messaging and video and file uploading. Even if employees don’t have a problem, they can still get information that helps them solve lingering problems.

Feedback needs can vary, and social media makes it easier. Whether an employee needs information on work or a team needs feedback on a project before the final touches, anyone can get responses and constructive criticism quickly and easily. This ties into better collaboration, and feedback received quickly can increase the chances of completing or progressing on a project.

Productivity increases

One of the assumptions around social media is that it is a time suck that will damage employee productivity. The truth is that workers are more likely to be productive when allowed to use social media.

Employees can actually increase their productivity by at least 9 percent when given the opportunity to browse social media sites at their leisure. The evidence shows that getting a break sometimes—even if it’s spent catching up with friends on Facebook—can increase productivity and even boost profitability as well as help meet customer demand more quickly. Breaks have always been tied to productivity, only now, they happen virtually.

Collaboration grows

Meetings can take up a significant portion of the work week. In both small and large companies, meetings can help keep employees and their supervisors on track, clear confusion and provide help to finish projects in a timely fashion.

In a perfect world, employees would be able to benefit from valuable information shared in any meeting, but that’s usually not the case. Most workers are less than satisfied with meeting outcomes and view them as a waste of time.

Using tools like GoWall, you can improve the way your meetings are run and collaborate with your team more easily and effectively. This tool allows meeting attendees to create notes for various topics that are discussed, commented on or liked to increase engagement and quality insights. It lets even introverted employees speak up by interacting online instead of in-person, as well as asking questions or conducting office opinion polls.