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Is Facebook Killing Your Employees’ Productivity?

Study Suggests That It Is

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[ Social Media]

On the heels of a study indicating that social media can significantly impact a brand’s bottom line positively, another one has come out saying that Facebook is costing companies productivity.

To be more specific, the new independent study from Nucleus Research is saying that Facebook costs companies 1.5 percent of total productivity, and that one in every 33 employees has built their entire profile during work time.

Rebecca Wetterman "If your company is facing tight margins and low profitability, as many are now, then how can you accept any work distractions that drain your overall productivity?," asks Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research for Nucleus Research.

"While it won’t make you popular, restricting Facebook can reclaim lost productivity. If your profitability is say two percent, this could be the difference between staying open or closing shop," says Wettemann.

Here are a few statistics from the study:

- Nearly half of employees in the study and 77 percent of those with an account use Facebook during work hours

- Some employees use Facebook as much as 2 hours per day while at work

-  One in 33 employees use Facebook exclusively while at work

Of those using Facebook at work, the study indicates that 87 percent of them couldn’t define a clear business reason for accessing the site. "Further, the analysis reveals potential security concerns through email, as most organizations do not monitor and manage Facebook as closely as email," says Nucleus in a release. "This creates an opportunity for Facebook users to circumvent controls and violate corporate communications policies."

While there are clearly concerns about employees accessing Facebook and other social networks from work, it is hard to get behind the notion that social network use should be entirely restricted by staff. The study we talked about here, suggests that the most successful brands have dedicated teams using social media. These teams would certainly be able to define "business reasons" for using the site(s). On the other hand, in some cases it appears to be wise to let a broader range of staff participate in online communities on behalf of the company.

It’s really going to come down to a variety of variables. What are your goals? What kind of business are you in? Are your employees responsible? These are the types of questions business owners should be asking themselves when deciding how to approach their social media strategies.

Do you have suggestions for business owners struggling with this issue? Please share your thoughts with WebProNews readers.

Is Facebook Killing Your Employees’ Productivity?
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  • http://www.pioutsource.com PI Outsource

    If you own a business and you cannot see each and every one of your employees desktops from where you sit, you must block Facebook. Thank God for openDNS!

  • http://twitter.com/pkioupakis pkioupakis

    Banning will result to them (employees) finding other ways to access facebook that the employer will not be able to monitor (mobile) unless he/she has access to all employees facebook accounts and applications. Checking traffic and implementing policies seems to be a better approach as anything forbidden is bound to be appealing for a lazy employee!

  • SHANTI

    As an employee I can say that it’s not facebook‘s fault if workers use it during working hours…my bosses spend their working hours on facebook, shopping and gambling on line!
    What to say about that?!?!

  • http://www.kdf-comp.com Guest

    I have to say while the study is interesting I have seen other studies that say pretty much the opposite. Sometimes employees just need a few moments to get way from work and collect their thoughts. I don’t condone anyone using facebook for more then a few minutes, but I’d rather have an employee who took a 10 minute break to go on Facebook and then went back to work then one who sits and stares at a screen pretending to do work. There is also a great article on Employee Productivity @ http://ezinearticles.com/?6-Tips-Guaranteed-to-Increase-Your-Employees-Productivity&id=3411020

  • Cristina

    The topic about productivity being affected by the use of Social Networks will go on forever.
    Whilst some professionals will be truly convinced that Social Networks such as Facebook will only distract and drain the overall productivity, there will be other that will support them and even will suggest that taking a nap at the office should become an accepted practice at the workplace.
    So, how can we know for sure if the productivity of our employees and company is increasing or decreasing?
    I was looking such a long time for a solution based on objective data that could enable me to see exactly if Social Networks affect the productivity of my company and if I shoul ban them, taking the risk to cope with the frustration and apathy of my employees.
    Soon I found out about a tool called WorkMeter that can measure the productivity of my employees by real metrics.
    This tool helped me understand the true activity of an employeeand how this relates to productive work driving company results.
    I understood that using Social Networks will not decrease the productivity of my employees as long as they respect a limit of time and don’t exaggerate in using the computers for personal reasons.
    Because WorkMeter offers high values of transparency and work ethics, the employees have acces to view their own data results and continuously improve their work, contributing toward the definition of which applications are productive in their work environment.
    With the help of the metrics that WorkMeter provides, the employees of my company can now mantain appropriate levels of productivity vs balanced activity.

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