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Employees using social media during work hours to while away time
HRK News Bureau | Bengaluru | Monday, 04 December 2017

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While social-media apps may help engage employees and share knowledge with them, they may also distract them and cause decrease in productivity.

The increased Internet penetration has led to an exponential rise in the use of social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, by people both in cities and rural areas.  People use these apps to connect, know each other, share photo files, and so on. However, there are many who use these apps excessively everywhere, be it in office or at home. While using them at leisure is fine, using them at work, during office hours is something employers need to worry about.

Today there are many organisations which encourage the use of social media apps for employee engagement, collaboration, sharing knowledge and experience. But if employees start using social media at the workplace, during work hours, to while away time, it will result in a fall in their productivity.

According to a study ‘Social media and slacking: It is a time sink indeed’, conducted by Teamlease, organisations which allow use of social media at the workplace risk losing 15 per cent to as much as 45 per cent of the total productivity due to social media indulgence.

Some companies allow the use of social media for business-related activities because of the nature of their business, but employees end up using it for their personal work. The study reveals that about 32 per cent of the total time spent on social media during work hours is spent on personal work. This results in huge loss of official resources and productivity.

The study reveals that extensive use of social media leads to loss of confidential information, defamation, misinformation and employee solicitation.

Apart from the decrease in productivity of the employees, the excessive use of social media at work has other effects also. The study reveals that extensive use of social media leads to loss of confidential information, defamation, misinformation and employee solicitation.

While companies have policies and restrictions on the use of social media at the workplace, in this age of the Internet restricting social media use is not the solution. Millennials love to update their social media profiles and use them often for personal and official work. Employers cannot ignore the social media and have to think of a plan to successfully use it to increase the productivity of the employees.

Today, employees do not depend on the old-fashioned e-mail, but on social media apps to message and exchange information. Companies need to take notice of this and connect and motivate employees with a strong sense of purpose, so that misuse and loss of productivity can be minimised.

© 2016 HR Katha

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