The problem with social media is that it’s designed to trip all of our social conditioning to hook us, getting us addicted. And it’s not entirely social media’s fault – as humans we’re hardwired to be social, it’s inherent to our genetic makeup.
However, now that we have access to social outlets almost 24/7, we’re finding it hard to give up, no matter where we’re at, including at the office. All this socializing is affecting business, to the tune of $650 billion dollars each year.
So what can you do to take back control, helping to funnel that wasted energy into something productive for the company? Well you have a few options.
Option 1: Block or Monitor Social Media
When faced with loss of revenue due to low productivity, many companies opt to simply block social media all together. Others choose to install monitoring software to view employees web surfing habits, allowing them to counsel and/or terminate employees as needed.
However, there are a few big problems with either scenario. First, blocking social media actually has a detrimental effect in the office. People need to be social, we’re wired that way, and cutting off this ability to socialize can be akin to cutting off an arm to some people.
Additionally, blocks and monitoring software can be easily circumvented these days because of smart phones. Knowing their being watched, employees will find other ways to access their social media, including playing on their phone which isn’t on the corporate network.
Option 2: Create an In-House Social Network
However, studies are finding there’s a much better way to handle this drive to be social – by harnessing it in a corporate setting. Instead of blocking the sites we crave, many companies are simply converting this behavior into something more appropriate, by providing in-house social media outlets.
Studies find that companies with an in-house, private social network not only increase morale, but productivity as well. Employees that socialize have better interactions and work together more effectively.
Additionally, an in-house social network has been known to foster a sense of corporate community, a win-win for any company.
So the next time you’re concerned about your employees spending too much time online, consider doing something that will help boost morale, productivity, and ultimately your company, rather than squash it.