Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are notoriously addictive, with some people admitting to spending at least an hour a day on the social media sites. According to a recent poll by myjobgroup.co.uk around 2million of the UK’s 34 million strong workforce spend a substantial amount of time on these sites every day whilst at work. This means that while they are squandering away their time by updating their statuses, looking at photos and tweeting they are not doing what they be doing, which consequently lowers levels of productivity. This lost hour or more is said to be costing the UK economy an estimated £14 billion of work time. An amount the British economy cannot afford to lose in the current economic climate.
The survey also revealed that more than half (55%) of the population access social media whilst at work, and depending on the amount of time this could mean a serious drop in productivity. This would undeniably weaken the company’s efforts to battle the economic storm as their work force tweets along and does not reach its full potential. Larger companies are able to monitor their employee’s online activities, limiting their access to social media sites, whereas smaller enterprises do not meaning a substantial amount of time could be lost.
However, many of those polled were in denial about the ill effects of social media on their efficiency, with only 14% admitting to being less productive as a result. On the other hand 10% claimed that social media actually made them more productive. This seems to be supported by the resistance there is to banning access to the sites, with over two thirds encouraging access during work time. This could be due to the importance social media now plays for businesses as it becomes increasingly effective in reeling in new clients and publicity.
The main issue to consider is to what extent social media is harming productivity. If it reaches a point where social media is being misused then perhaps a clamp down on usage will be the way to go. However, it is up to the company’s discretion, and whether they trust their employs to work to their full potential.